Over 60 students from the Porter County Career and Technical Center showcased their talent via projects that they created from the CAD and Animation class –taught by Bill Guinee- and the Video Production class –taught by Bob Phelps at the Film and Animation Showcase this past Monday. The event was at IVY Tech Community College campus in Valpo. My son, Trevor, made a video and I was there to support him as well as show support for the PCCTC.
First and foremost I was proud as a dad for what my son was working on and all that he is learning about using video to tell a story. As a co-electronics geek it is fun to learn things like that and have that in common with my boy. And as a story teller I value him learning that medium as another way to communicate.
The kids really had fun and pulled out all the stops at the career center in the showcase event as they and their families dressed to the nines and walked on a red carpet upon entering the building. There were many talented kids there. One works for me. Megan Leetz does video for us and she was awarded (along with another young lady named Becca Annen) the Gabe Myers Scholarship that night. Megan plans to take her talent and skill to Columbia College in the fall and we couldn’t be prouder of our young LIFER.
Being connected to the program over the last four years since launching ValpoLife and having hired many of the students who have come through the program, I appreciate what a lasting impact the program and the career center have on the community. The kids are learning real world skills in a hands-on environment with deadlines, pressures, and technical challenges. And ultimately, they have to deliver a final product that is going to be watched around the world or in front of a whole auditorium full of people.
Carol Costakis is a big supporter of the career center like me. She is the Community Resource Director for the Porter County Community Foundation and was there being a cheerleader for the kids. The Foundation has been a huge contributor to the career center and the Gabe Myers Scholarship for the last six years. They are completely behind the education effort and belief system that the career system upholds.
The Gaby Myers Scholarship was named after a student of the career center that passed away in March of 2011. He was a good kid with a positive attitude and had plans to go into sports broadcasting later in life. The career center honors his memory every year when they award the scholarship to deserving students.
Thankful for the career center, teachers like Bill and Bob are teaching kids way more than the technical skills to make those images appear on screen. They are proud of all the kids who take the step of getting involved with these programs and I have yet to meet one student whose life was not made better from the experience at the career center or the experience of learning from these two great guys.
Thinking bigger, the Film and Animation Showcase tells me how valuable it is for kids to have a chance to display their absolutely unique creativity, whether it is a wacky animation sequence or a dramatic video story, and use digital means to bring that story to life. Each one was so different; just as those kids are - from Morgan Township to Portage, Hobart and Chesterton to Valpo -these kids are their own version of a Porter County melting pot.
Here are some videos that were premiered at the Film and Animation Showcase.
Adam 'Boomer' Nellessen - Personal Profile - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX04ymSmmdM
Surefire Sandwich shop - South Haven Indiana - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mw-wK5zerM
Bring Me the Horizon - Sleepwalking Music Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYplSBXBnjI