Mayor Lovely Warren, the City of Rochester and RochesterWorks sponsored a summer youth employment program during a six week period over July and August. Under this Summer of Opportunity (SOOP) youth employment program, young people ages 14-20 receive a stipend as well as vital career training and hands-on professional skills that encourage school success as well as work readiness. In addition to hands-on training, the students also had the opportunity to visit Brockport and RIT, as well as to take a financial literacy workshop presented by ESL, as part of the program.
This summer. RCTV hosted a group of thirteen youth who worked on some very interesting projects that ranged from assisting on an interview conducted with of Mayor Lovely Warren, then actually producing interviews with mayoral candidates Rachel Barnhart and Alex White.
During a visit to FoodLink’s Community Farm, they had an opportunity to interview Chief Programs Officer, Mitch Gruber.
During the course of the six weeks, the thirteen interns at RCTV created and produced several episodes of a show that was simulcast on TV and radio, called Wednesday Night Live, for which they created skits, performed live on air.
Two of their additional favorite interviews were with firefighter Santos Cruz and filmmaker Rasta Von. The interview with Rasta took place on the eve of his movie premiere (Judgment Night).
In addition to working on RCTV’s and WXIR’s productions, RCTV interns also helped the SOOP interns from Metro Council for Teen Potential and Urban League of Rochester produce video about their projects. They were also involved in an Art Force 5 collaboration. Art Force 5 champions creativity over conflict through non-violence workshops and impactful, community-based art.
The youths were taught and mentored by RCTV’s Julio Cruz, John Watson and Rajesh Barnabas. By the end of the six weeks, they were developing their own graphics, special effects and sound tracks. They were also organizing, producing, shooting video and editing all of the programs, which can be seen on RCTV, heard on 100.9 WXIR and will soon be available on RCTV’s vimeo site.
The final celebration was hosted at the Democrat & Chronicle, in the downstairs meeting room that pays tribute to free speech.The interns from RCTV, MCTP and Urban League gathered to show their work to family and friends in attendance through video, presentations and a short panel discussion, whose master of ceremonies was Geoffery Rogers, the “Youngest News Reporter in Rochester.”
RCTV would like to thank Will and Gwen Butts, and Stanley Main, who contributed to the Summer Youth Employment Program at RCTV. Due to their generosity, we were able to hire a thirteenth intern named Jared, who we are nominating for standout intern for the entire city’s SOOP/SYEP program.