(Carly Besser) We’re two out of the five students that created this project and it was such a pleasure working with both Melissa Alexander and First Step Staffing to make our short documentary. The filmmaking experience was relatively new to all of us on our team. Some of us came into this class with photography experience and minor editing skills, but we were able to pick up the skills needed to execute this project with the help of our amazing mentor and artistic guide, Melissa. I learned so much about how important it is to embrace the unexpected when creating a film and to be open to hearing the stories around us to gain new perspectives. We heard many incredible stories from First Step employees and clients that challenged all of our perceptions of what we identified with homelessness. We hope our film did the same for you all.
(Edward Hernandez) Our goal with this project was to tell a story that explained what homelessness is, what the common misconceptions of homelessness is, and how First Step Staffing is impacting homelessness in Atlanta and other cities. We decided to approach this goal by showcasing the experiences of one of First Step’s clients, Dale, and intermixing it with interviews from First Step employees. As a group, we felt that it was important to build an overarching story around Dale’s life because his experiences challenges common notions of homelessness, it shows the ups and downs of someone transitioning out of homelessness, and it shows the impact of First Step.
More posts from this project:
Monday, April 30 was the grand unveiling of this year’s final projects! Held at the Center for Ethics, the event was a great success. After a half-hour of mingling and viewing the poster exhibit, each student group and artist presented their final works and reflected on their experiences over the semester. Representatives from each nonprofit were also in attendance, and shared their hopes for how these projects will help promote their work in the future.
Documentary Group: Madelon Morford, Vivien Yang, Anne Pizzini, and Will Rogers
Group One: First Step Staffing & Melissa Alexander
Group Two: Second Helpings Atlanta & Jamaal Barber
Second Helpings Atlanta
Group Three: GEEARS & Tara Olayeye
Main project pages:
All posts from the 2018 class:
Students and artist Jamaal Barber went to the Atlanta Printmakers Studio to create their poster series for Second Helpings Atlanta!
Students and filmmaker/photographer Melissa Alexander get together to plan for their project, a short film for nonprofit First Step Staffing.
Read more posts from this project:
By Madelon Morford
For this social activism project, each student was tasked with coming up with a slogan that they felt represented and reflected the mission of their organization, Second Helpings Atlanta. The mission behind Second Helpings Atlanta is to “drive out hunger 1 mile at a time”. Their website states:
90 minutes a month, that’s how long it takes to pick up and deliver a car load of nutritious food to those in need. In December 2017 Second Helpings volunteers had rescued over 1.4 million meals for hungry people in Atlanta, increasing their meals 13% since 2016.
The three driving methods that Second Helpings focuses on for driving positive change are: 1. Communicate, Convene, Collaborate, 2. Advocate, 3. Research and Innovate. By educating, informing and mobilizing stakeholders, the volunteers are able to ensure that all Georgia families receive the economic, community, and health benefits that are important, especially during the prenatal stage of pregnancy and the first five years of a child’s life. Through advocacy, the organization works for effective policies that support high-quality learning and healthy development. All of this is done through the support of evidence-based practices and research.
More posts from this group: