Youth and Media program
Steeltown has recently completed the pilot program of the Youth and Media Initiative at the Holy Family Institute. This program focuses on at-risk high school students by connecting them to local and expatriate entertainment professionals in a hands-on teaching environment. Providing mentors who teach them how to use media to tell their own stories, the program exposes students to career possibilities within the entertainment industry, and develops skills and a sense of responsibility that will serve them throughout their lives.
Through a series of weekly workshops students learn various aspects of digital storytelling as well as technical aspects of film and video production, such as lighting and sound design, cinematography, and editing. Under the mentorship of Steeltown staff and volunteers, the students produced a ten-minute short film that was screened at Holy Family Institute's Spirit of Family awards banquet honoring Jack Mascaro, founder of Mascaro Construction, LLC. They also shot footage for a larger film they are doing on Holy Family itself, which they will continue to work on in subsequent sessions. The students wrapped up the semester-long program with a tour of WQED and met David Newell, the delivery man from "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and George L. Miles, Jr. President & CEO of WQED.
The "Youth & Media" Initiative will continue at Holy Family Institute and be expanded in the next phase to offer training to the youth at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild. This program has been supported by the Grable Foundation, the RK Mellon Foundation, and the Colcom Foundation as well as theater proceeds from screenings of the film "My Tale of Two Cities."