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Q+A with Participant Intern Alumni

June 2023

June marks the beginning of our summer internship program, with a fresh cohort of young people eager to learn. With each of our interns being so talented and so different, it had us wondering how some of our past interns are doing now.

As an aspiring filmmaker, what sort of stories are you looking to tell?

The stories I’m interested in telling are always going to be about centering marginalized voices and retelling the narratives that didn’t have those opportunities in the past. If people can see themselves represented on screen, I feel like that is a step towards change.

– Jada Buford, Documentary Intern 2018. MFA candidate at Columbia University

How are young people uniquely positioned to change the world?

What always impresses me about the younger generation is how willing they are to challenge the status quo. I’m always stoked to see young people speak up and be the change makers that the world needs.

– Jonathan Diep, Marketing Intern 2018. Account Strategist at Google

What advice would you give someone who is at the beginning of their career?

Give yourself grace, give yourself time, and pat yourself on the back.. And stop comparing yourself to others.

– Briana Kirkland, Social Intern 2022. BA candidate ad Howard University

Why do you think storytelling has the power to change minds and influence behavior?

I think as humans we’re just wired to like a good story. I recently finished a book called “Sapiens” which goes into detail about humanity and essentially how we progressed over the millennia and one of the key topics it hit on was around storytelling. I think it’s particularly important to be a good storyteller though, as anyone can ‘speak’, but not everyone can be engaging – so when given the opportunity to share your ‘story,’ I think it’s got to be one that is truly inspiring to enact change.

– Jonathan Diep

What’s something that gives you hope?

Little kids that see themselves represented. Like when I see people experiencing joy, especially from TV and film, where I feel like it’s storytelling done right, I feel like that gives me hope.

– Jada Buford

How do you deal with the fear that may come with moving on to the next chapter of your life?

It’s about finding your community. Finding people you can be real with. You can laugh with. You can learn with. You can grow with. I think that’s the best thing you can do when being scared about taking the next steps in your life.

– Briana Kirkland