Sunday, January 4, 2009

Best / Most / Favourite of 2008

The Best Happy Surprises from the Youth of Today that make me hopeful for the future.

I write/direct (basically showrun) a TV show called VJIAM tv. Even though the job has been extremely overwhelming at times, one of the positive aspects of the show is that it's given me the warm fuzzies for the youth of today. Let's face it, they get a bad rap in the media, and we've left them with a mess. Oops, guys, sorry about that!

The show features the work of emerging video journalists sharing stories about their communities. They cover arts, sports, music, dance, environmentalism, and more. But the really cool thing is that their work is uplifting. They create stories about saving the planet, building community, teaching each other, and being strong in mind, body, and spirit. Some of it has been mighty inspirational.

Here are just a few of my favourites:

At 22 years old, Emily Jubenville was voted Greenest Canadian.

Teens in San Francisco organize a solar powered hip hop festival.

Reel Grrls helps young women get a head start in filmmaking.

Five teenagers are given free music lessons and then put in a band together.

Circus Smirkus... a circus made up entirely of teenage performers.

There are a few that haven't aired yet; I'll link them to the segments when they are online. In the meantime, I've linked them to some information about them, which you'd want to know anyway.

Girls Helping Girls was founded two years ago by 15-year-old Sejal Hathi. It's an international nonprofit organization that partners girls in the U.S. with girls in developing countries to jointly identify problems in their communities and develop social change through micro lending projects.

(Uhhh... what was I doing at 15... hmmm, yeah, working at Winchell's Donut Shop and writing bad poetry.)

Matt Harding travels the world, connecting people, through one simple dance.

And here's a story they haven't covered yet, but I'm hoping they do:

18 year old kid invents a silent, electrically powered motorcycle. I saw this kid on Dragon's Den, a show where entrepreneurs pitch ideas to a panel of investors. When one of the dragon's pointed out that it was the same concept as the segwey, and the segwey had failed, he replied, "yeah, that's because the segwey wasn't cool."

He received a $2.5 million development grant.

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