YDA trains under-represented youth how to make professional-quality documentary films. Through intensive mentorship, students learn to appreciate and amplify their voice, their story, and their ideas. Topics include suicide/mental health, race/self-image, and immigration, among others. When complete, YDA teaches our youth how to use their films in the community to spark dialogue and inspire change.
YDA students not only gain technical and professional skills for a career in film, television or media, but also a deep understanding of how to transpose a story idea into a documentary film. Film allows them to share their lived experience in a way that empowers and inspires both the filmmaker and the audience, creating advocates around a cause, and allowing
our youth to become engaged citizens in our community.
We can use professional grade equipment (cameras, lighting, sound), housing for our Summer instructional staff, and classroom supplies including everything from pens to hard drives.
Research shows that youth from under-served backgrounds, who can articulate clear narratives about their community, show increased resiliency and college readiness.
“The Youth Documentary Academy, is a revolutionary model that honors the innate wisdom and experience of young people. The stories move and inspire.” — Kate Perdoni, Rocky Mountain PBS Producer