Voices From the Lab: Local Youth Enhances Creativity, Future in Multimedia Class

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In sixth grade, Guillermo began recording parody videos with his friends. “It was just for fun,” he explains. “When we started getting better, we started getting more serious.”

Guillermo has taken computer courses at Milby High School, located in Houston’s Pecan Park neighborhood. However, these classes focused on computer basics. “I really wanted to learn other programs,” Guillermo says. He found his niche in Digital Media, a four-week class offered by Technology For All’s Program Specialist Ken at the Mission Milby Community Development Center (MMCDC). Thanks to a software grant from Microsoft, students used the newest programs: they created storyboards and schedules on Microsoft Word, studied Windows Movie Maker, and turned their ideas into reality. Besides shooting and editing a short film, Guillermo can add sound effects, transitions, credits and more. “We even chopped footage for extra humor.”

By the end of the class, everyone had created and collaborated on a video available on YouTube, titled “Candy Intervention.” They celebrated with a ‘splash party’ on MMCDC’s front lawn.

This class is more than an outlet for creativity for students like Guillermo. He’s a senior at a school where 74 percent of students are labeled ‘at-risk’ by Houston Independent School District, in a neighborhood where one-fourth of the entire population reported living in poverty in the U.S. Census 2000. Guillermo, like many students, can’t access the programs and tools provided in Digital Media as easily as other students at other schools. But through this class, Guillermo made new friends, cultivated a skill, enhanced his college resume and had a safe, fun place to go during the summer and after school.

Although Guillermo plans to study biology in college, he takes any computer class available. “Any business you want to be in uses computers. The more you know about them, the bigger your advantage.”

Mission Milby Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit serving Houston’s Pecan Park and Greater East End neighborhoods. It offers classes on exercise, computers and more. For more information, call (713) 454-6464 or visit 2220 Broadway.

Source: Technology For All

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