Video is everywhere – and these days UACE 4-H is in the mix through Adobe Youth Voices, a program that teaches teens to express themselves with professional quality video cameras and software.
"We teach them basically everything that has to do with film-making," said Gabrielle Van Steenberg from Parker, a trained Adobe Youth Voices teen assistant.
In summer camps in Parker and Salome, teens produced short films on topics including teen smoking and drinking, exercise, healthy snacks and bullying. The Youth Voices mantra – creating with a purpose – is a common thread.
The Youth Voices program is funded by an Adobe Foundation grant through the National 4-H Council.
Eventually 4-H program leaders – and teens – hope to get the videos to the public in places where they might have impact. A bullying video, for instance, could go to school administrators, or an anti-smoking video to a teen smoking cessation program. But ultimately, it's enough to give the kids a voice.
"A lot of kids have a ton of things to say, they just don't have a place to say it, a way to say it," Gabrielle said. "We give them that.
"Hailey Ferris, 14, went to a film camp in Parker, where she learned everything she needed to bring her idea to life. She forged her message from bits and pieces of "Alice in Wonderland" dialogue.
"Basically giving the message that you can accomplish anything you want to," she said.