Red Mesa Youth Council Youth Leadership Students
YL Students Create Digital Stories About Community Issues
The Red Mesa Youth Council Youth Leadership (YL) students met their obligation to generate a project that benefits their community with the ambitious plan of creating digital stories to focus attention on important community social issues. With the guidance of Project Coach, Echohawk Lefthand, students employed the Futures for Children’s Group Self-Help Process, brainstorming issues they felt were problems within their community. Working in groups, they conducted research on one of the chosen topics and developed a blueprint for the production of their film.
Students wrote scripts, recorded voice-overs, took photographs, and filmed scenes about sensitive matters such as domestic violence, bullying, depression, and drug abuse. When the separate media components were completed, students compiled and edited materials to create a film they felt successfully portrayed the grave essence of their subject. The finished films were premiered at the Together, We Rise retreat in LaSalle,
Utah in February 2013. Together, We Rise is an organization founded by Native youth for Native youth with the vision of creating a media campaign designed to deal with the common problems young people face in their communities. The retreat provided a forum for students from schools throughout the Navajo Nation to view each other’s films and discuss solutions to their shared social issues. Red Mesa Youth Council YL students found the retreat especially rewarding since their intention in creating the films was to educate reservation youth about common problems and to encourage students to confront these challenges.