Preparing Students for a Career in Digital Media

PGCC and PGCPS Host the 5th Annual Student Media Day

On November 16 and 17, Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) partnered with Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) to host the 5th annual Student Media Day. More than 150 high school and middle school students convened on PGCC’s main campus in Largo, Maryland for the two-day event.

The event is designed to help encourage students interests in pursuing careers in mass communications. My workshop allowed students to see how they could make a career out of social and digital media and maximize the social following they have already developed.

Students also had the opportunity to anchor a live news show produced by PGCC mass communication students, get first-hand experience with the latest in digital video technology, and interact with local media professionals.

It was an exciting day for the students as well as PGCC and PGCPS faculty and staff.

“I enjoyed seeing students actively engaging in the workshops, learning about the magic of digital video technology, interacting with local media professionals and having fun participating in our live newscast in front of the camera as anchors and reporters and behind the scenes as part of our production crew,” said Angela Mathis, senior producer and adjunct faculty, Prince George’s Community College.

Beyond the workshops, Student Media Day provides “an opportunity for students who are taking video production classes in the public schools to visit PGCC’s campus, explore their interests, and learn from professionals working in their field.”

Click here to view more photos from this year’s Student Media Day.

Preparing Young Leaders: Workshops on Leadership Development and Public Speaking

During my Young Leadership and Public Speaking workshop as part of the Legacy International Professional Fellows Outbound Cultural Exchange Program to Algeria, I worked with a group of 18 young adults on leadership development, communications styles, and public speaking skills. It was an interactive, all-day workshop with hands-on learning – something that is rare in Algerian cultural. Algerian students are accustomed to the lecture teaching format of learning where there is little participation. However, these young leaders were eager to learn and participate in the workshop to gain valuable, practical skills in their efforts to become better leaders in a civil society.

The participants took part in team-building activities and group assignments that often pushed them outside of their comfort zone. They challenged their ideas about leadership and how best to express those ideas.

For their final activity, each group had to come up with a project or association that would help their Algerian civil society. The goal was to work together as a team, display varying leadership styles and then each one of them had to speak about at least one aspect of the project.

The first group had three people who started the day by saying they were too shy to speak in public. One participant was so shy she was in tears when given the assignment. But we repeated our mantra for the day – “I am fearless. I am honest. I am creative” – and with that in mind, the group went through various leadership development and public speaking exercises. The videos below are the result of two of the group’s work from our day together.

Group number one showed the most improvement over the course of the day.

 

Group number two showed the most confidence and creativity.

 

I am proud of all the participants. Many walked in the door on their day off as shy leaders who and lacked confidence. They walked out accomplished leaders ready to take on their community and contribute in a major way to their civil society. This is the kind of cultural exchange Legacy International is known for. I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to contribute in my own small way.

On a side note, the workshop was such a success the group wanted more. We talked abut ways we could all stay in touch. The young leaders decided they would use social media to continue to engage and connect. They have committed to setting up a Facebook Group and Google Hangout where we can continue to work together. I’ve given each of them “homework” that they must complete by the end of next month. They each have to book one speaking engagement at a local association or club and invite someone else to come speak at their association or club. Becuase public speaking opportunities are so rare, I’ve challenged these young leaders to not wait for the opportunity to present itself but to create the opportunities where they can speak. To become a good public speaker, you must speak publically. I can’t wait to see what this group of young leaders come up with.

Special thanks to Legacy International and their sponsor, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the opportunity to share my social engagement best practices, training and knowledge with the Algerian Pro Fellows. Let’s keep the conversation going!

UPDATE! I recently heard from two of my young leaders. Dallel GUIR wrote, “Thank you for that day it was amazing.” Dallel wrote. 

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She followed it up with these hashtags, #Fearless #Creative #Dreamer Those are her hashtags, not mine. However, that was our mantras for the day so I co-sign.

Then I got an email from one of the participants. Excuse the typos and broken English. Instead, focus on the sentiment. It took a lot to email me this. I’m so very proud.

“Good morning, So i’m one of the lucky persons to meet you and to be a mumber in «Youth Leadership and Public SpeakinAlgeria» to be your student for a day.
I was shy and couldn’t express my feeling, from that day i started to think differently i really want to change to be confident optimistic and crazy in the same time i want to do new things and things which were hard for me.
Something great and special happened to me today and i want to share it with you,
Before i meet you i had to do a homework and send it to my teacher,but because i was a kind of lazy person i left it that because i was negative i was just telling my self that i can’t do it i can’t understand this module but after the training when i arrived home i was thinking that i have to start now i have to do something and i started this homework and in the same day i sent it to my teacher it was 11pm.
I was happy.then 3 days after he sent me a mail and told me«congratulations good job»
Today, we had a corse with him and after a GOOD MORNING he said who is (amrouni amina) then i sad it is me he sad reallly i was glad to see your unswers it was a pleasure for me to read it, he said that i was the only one from 7 persons who did the right job and said that he will give me a complet mark even if i don’t work well.
I know it is just a simple thing or maybe nothing but trust me i’m glad and happy because this special module is my only key of success in the situation in where i am.
To conlude,sorrrry for wasting your time by writing a lot but i just wanted to let you know how much you helped me and thank you soooo much ,
I hope i will recive something from you and everything new which can happen to me i will tell you about it because I AM FEARLESS,CREATIVE AND HONEST.”

That was our mantra for the day… I AM Fearless, Creative and Honest. These young people… WHEW! They blow me away. They opened up and let me pour into them and then they gave the joy right back to me. I’m going to get a tissue now. There’s some sort of water coming from my eyes.

#SocialEntrepreneur #LegacyIntl #ProFellows #LegacyInAlgeria

Storytelling in Algeria: We are more alike than unalike

You think we are all different. You think our struggles are unique. Then you travel the world and you are reminded of the beautiful and powerful poem, Human Family, by Maya Angelou. In that poem, she teaches us that we are all people, and we are so much more alike than different. This has been made even more apparent this week during my trip to Algeria.

I was invited to be a part of the Legacy International Professional Fellows Program U.S. Delegation to Algeria.

“The Professional Fellows Program brings together emerging leaders from around the world who are working in the legislative process and governance, civic engagement, NGO management, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, and journalism arenas with American counterparts from across the country. The Professional Fellows Program establishes structured interaction among American and international participants aimed at developing sustained professional ties and lasting partnerships” – US State Department.

Legacy International is dedicated to promoting peace by strengthening civil society and fostering a culture of participation worldwide and have been an excellent client and partner in my role as a social entrepreneur.

I worked with the Legacy Algerian Pro Fellows when they were in America on their inbound exchange program. We did workshops on storytelling pitching story ideas. Now, I am part of the Legacy International outbound cultural exchange program to learn from and share with NGOs in Algiers and Oran. The week concludes with the delegates conducting workshops and roundtable discussions to provide skills to continue to build their civil society and to help them grow their NGO or Association. However, before the week wraps up I wanted to share today’s experiences. It proved to be an amazing day of storytelling and cultural exchange.

We started the day meeting with two Oran “Associations” or what we would call in the U.S. nonprofit organizations. Our first stop was to Les NOMADES Algériens where we learned about the challenges and strategies of a newly formed Association in Oran.

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It was interesting to learn how the group used art and visual storytelling – amazing photos and compelling video – to communicate complex issues around their mission to help disenfranchised children in Oran. They found that when you are trying to raise awareness and promote advocacy in the fight for children’s mental health, education or to improve their living conditions, using visuals helps tell the story. While they are still a new Association, NOMADES has compelling content that is sure to catch the eye of funders, grantors, volunteers and participants. I always encourage nonprofits in America to approach their storytelling the same way – to use compelling visuals to tell your story and mission in a provocative and heart – warming way. It appears good, visual storytelling is a universal concept.

The other organization, Femmes Algériennes Revendiquant leurs Droits, is a well established NGO/Association in Oran. They are doing impressive and impactful work in the fight for women’s rights.


They not only use special events and medical and legal assistance to help the women of Oran – sometimes at great risk to themselves – they too use visual storytelling to communicate their mission and outreach services. While they use traditional communication tactics to include flyers, posters, banners and printed material, it is their visual storytelling that is making the most impact. With an all female crew and production team, FARD is producing a series of documentaries to raise awareness about the specific and unique challenges in the fight for women’s human rights in Oran. These rights include everything from stopping violence against women, equality in employment and education, to the type of clothing women should be required to wear or the places women should go in public. We also spoke to a young woman who felt grateful but removed from FARD. This is not unlike the many young women in the U.S. who say they feel removed from the feminist movement or NOW organization.

Fighting for women and children rights are causes of great concern in Algeria and the also in America. This is not surprising. Women’s rights are human rights. When you empower women, you empower the world. While the nuances of women’s rights advocacy may change from region to region, we are all still in the same human rights fight together. Children are our future. Making sure youth are well cared for is the concern of everyone across the globe.

Through all of this, great storytelling remains a powerful communication tool that can play on the heart strings of the public and call about the real change needed in communities across the globe.

As a professional storyteller, this has been an enlightening and empowering day of learning and sharing. I am only half-way through my Legacy International U.S. Delegation to Algeria but what I know for sure is:

“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” – Maya Angelou