S.M.Y.L.I

Ryan and Cindy, C.A.M.P. particpants

LEADERSHIP

A small part of the summer, 2010, I spent training C.A.M.P (college freshmen and sophmores) particpants in videography.

Though I was hired as a teacher, I must say I learned so much. Let me go backwards. SMYLI, CAMP, what’s it mean? The Summer Migrant Youth Leadership Institute. And CAMP: College Assistance Migrant Program. These programs provide experience and access to higher education for young people that might not otherwise get the chance. This year it was hosted at CU Boulder.

In my close to twenty years of experience sharing the arts of theater, video and poetry across the state of Colorado, from the migrant summer programs of the 90′s when they had Artists in Residence at each site to the suburban cafeteria-gymnasiums of Colorado Springs, it is rare to see so many motivated and talented  young adults or to be a part of such a positive and successful program.

These young people are taking the next step. Growing up, I saw certain people in my culture, the Chicano culture, taking the next step, moving forward while looking back. Luis Valdez, in his time, for instance. I see the next step. I can see working with these high school and college students to create a feature film made by and about them and their stories.

To be continued.

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