Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium – River City CDC

Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium – River City CDC

>>Okay, welcome everyone. This is Kristin Johnstad [assumed spelling]
at Search Institute and this is the fourth in our series of CVO Social
Media Learning Network webinars. We have two great grantees that are going
to present today and so without further ado, let’s turn it over to Calvin Allen [assumed
spelling] and you can introduce your folks and get us started with your work.>>Okay, thank you so much. First I’d like to apologize. Annette Cohen [assumed spelling]
will not be present today so I’ll be the only one speaking
officially from HMCUC. I’d like say that it’s been a pleasure
working with the River City folks, Angie and Ty [assumed spelling], they’ve
worked very hard with the students as they will explain later on
in our presentation, you know, they definitely have some challenging students
to work with but they’ve been able to get them to do some amazing things in regard to getting
their Web 2.0 sites up and participating in all those good things as
we desire for our young people to do so again, kudos to Angie and Ty. With that said, I would now like just
to simply defer everything over to Angie and Ty because they are the organization
that HMCUC chose to use this grant to further the push to get social
networking out there to young people and to use it as a service learning vehicle. So Angie and Ty, I defer to you.>>Okay. Hello everyone. It’s a pleasure for us to be able to present
today our actual participation in this project and just to kind of give you
some history about who we are. We are a non-profit 501(c) (3)
community based organization, River City Community Development Corporation. We were founded in 1990 for the express
purpose of strengthening communities and improving the quality of
life for our community residents and more importantly we serve communities
of low wealth in providing assistance in affordable housing, assistance
in economic development, youth development and empowerment programs. We also seek to enculture culture awareness
in addressing issues relating to seniors. So we’ve been around for quite some
time providing service over time in our local community and of course today
we’re here with some focus more specifically on our youth development and
youth empowerment programs. Over time we have provided
services to youth of all ages and more importantly youth
that are primarily at risk. We live in a rural community and we
serve a fairly high [inaudible] level as it relates to youth in our community. Unfortunately we do have a high high school
dropout rate and also fluctuating in low into the grades for testing
in our local community. So we have a lot of challenges as
we work towards trying to build and strengthen communities here
in Northeastern North Carolina. So that’s just some brief history as it
relates to our youth development program. Now as it relates to focusing on our Web 2.0
project, we were very excited about working with Calvin and Nan on this project
because it really gave us an opportunity to empower our young people as it relates
to technology and being able to expose them to social networks that they would not
normally get the opportunity to really begin to start capitalizing and building a product and
I think that’s pretty much what our aim is on is that we were able to really build
a product with this project. So our students both of again of rural and
urban connections is has worked in collaboration with several organizations including
our faith based community in order to really get implemented projects. So we pulled together some additional
partnerships and resources to really assist us in pulling this whole Web 2.0 project together. But what we really used as a vehicle was
our website, which is www.rivercitycdc.org, and we kind of use our website
as a base really to get, communicate this whole social networking product
that our students were actually able to build but through their community service
activities, community service and service learning activities, as we integrate
those services into our existing programs and I think that was kind of one of the goals
is that we were able to take every program that we actually implement with youth and integrate this Web 2.0
concept into everything that we do. So they’re living it and breathing it
and they’re thinking it as we’re working through this whole process that you know
technology has the ability to empower a nation. So just to kind of see what type
of influence that they could see that this technology can actually do for us. So as we begin to get started,
I just want to focus in right now more specifically on our website.>>[inaudible]>>So as Ty brings up our website, we just want
to emphasize on some areas that we really worked on building our students actively
participated in you know the brainstorming about how we can really actually build a
website that will speak the message and show all of the various outcomes as we’re working on
service learning projects for our youth program. So as we scroll down to our website and
hopefully everyone is seeing what we see, that we actually integrated on
our first page of our website. Is everyone able to see our
website where you are?>>Yeah, it looks great.>>Okay. So if you come down to our website, we
have actually, we’re going to scroll all the way down and then if you can see that we’ve
integrated all of this on our front page, Face Book, Twitter, You Tube, and I’m going
to get Ty to talk a little later about kind of what actually transpired in
the back room as the students and he were actually kind
of building on the website. But we’re going to come up just
a little bit to the actual video. This You Tube video was incorporated into our
front page just to kind of show highlight one of the major projects that our young
people have been working on over time and this particular video in this You Tube video
actually highlights our Youth Build students providing an introduction into a
what we call Group Work Camp Project that the students actually
assisted in implementing. This is where our organization actually
were able to provide rehabilitation, housing rehabilitation to over
50 houses in our local community. They actually were able to
provide elderly, low income and disabled communities provide a service to
them by building handicap ramps, doing interior and exterior painting, weatherization, they
did some roofing projects and the like. So we’re just going to click
onto that link right now and just give you just a little highlight or
taste of what we actually the students were able to really put together as it relates
to an intro to this particular project.>>Just to note, we’ll be able to see it
but we won’t necessarily be able to hear it.>>Oh, okay.>>[inaudible]>>Alright, so we’re going to click onto that.>>River City Community Development
Corporation will host, organize, and implement the 2009 Group
Work Camp Project in partnership with Group Work Camp from Loveland, Colorado. Group Work Camp is a proven program
that prepares hundreds of teenagers and adults representing 14 states with
communities like ours to provide home repairs for the elderly, low income
and disabled residents. We will provide>>Okay so that actual clip was just
an introduction to some of the work that we were actually able to
complete in our local community. Again, we rehabilitated I believe it
was like 52, 53 houses of low income and elderly residents right here in our local
community and as a result of that we were able to get some regional, I guess,
regional media coverage from that where the local television station
actually had to come down from Tidewater, Virginia because we are again we’re located
in rural Northeastern North Carolina, so we don’t really have a major
television station here but they came down from the Tidewater area and then
they actually were able to capture some of the coverage of some of
the rehabilitation work that the young people did
in the local community.>>How would you react if someone offered to
take care of pricey home repairs free of charge?>>I would say what’s the catch, right? Well one Elizabeth City non-profit
is doing it with no strings attached. 10 On Your Side’s Eric Harryman
joins us now with more. This sounds too good to be true man.>>But this time, guess what, Tom, it is not. This week River City Community Development
brought in a small army of volunteers. In all 62 work crews took on home repair
assignments for homeowners who can’t afford to do it on their own and applied for help. 10 On Your Side caught up with two very eager
work crews and one very grateful homeowner.>>Okay so that was just a clip that
we actually integrated into the intro and we just put a little clip there just kind
of explaining what was actually happening. So again all of this has been integrated
onto our front page of our website. So just to give you some additional information,
I’m going to have Ty actually explain some of the work that he actually worked with the
students in trying to get on our front page, some of the things that actually goes
on in the back room as it relates to trying to get all of this set up.>>Okay as Angie said we kind of
integrated all of our social media sites on our front page including
Face Book, Twitter and You Tube. One thing we added was called a
Tweet Widget which is on our website. You can probably see it on the left side on the
left column under the far lower left hand line and pretty much a widget is a small gadget
that shares specific data from one location, in this case on Twitter our actual account, it
shows individual tweets from another location. It helps to connect our website with
our social networking websites and also or social networking websites with other social
networking websites like for example Twitter with Face Book and Twitter
with You Tube and vice versa and also like with the actual You Tube. You Tube has an auto-share function
that allows you to automatically share like a newly uploaded video to your
Face Book and Twitter accounts. So pretty much that works well because when you
upload a video, one that you share to Twitter as a tweet, it automatically comes onto
our website onto our widget as a tweet so it pretty much automatically
updates and it makes you know keeping up with what we’re doing a lot easier. This video that we have on our
page, the one that we just viewing, it is a video that we uploaded with
various other videos on You Tube. Pretty much what we did was
we embedded it on the page. We’re going to go to the>>No we’re going to go to Face Book.>>facebook.com>>Right. Let’s go, we’re going to go to Face
Book and kind of show you some various products that the students were actually able
to upload onto our Face Book page and it just shows you some various video
coverage that they were able to capture, some of our present and past students and being
able to allow them to provide testimonials. You’ll see here on You Tube we
have pictures uploaded from some of the various housing rehabilitation
projects that we’ve worked on. We listed some of our partners in all of this. Our students were able to go to a homeless
shelter where they provided landscaping. They did a landscaping project
here at our homeless shelter. They, we’ve actually adopted a highway and
the students are actually participating on actively in the Adopt-A-Highway Program. There has been some CPR training and
we’ve actually captured a lot of that and as you can see, as things actually
transpire within our youth programs and service learning projects that we’re working
on, that we are able to very you know real time and able to come back and upload
it onto our Face Book site. So now we’ll go to You Tube.>>Hold on one second [inaudible].>>Okay, sure.>>I just want you to bring
attention to the rural conference that the students presented
at in regard to Web 2.0. This was early on. You have to figure [inaudible].>>Okay. Our students actually
attended a conference in Hendersonville, North Carolina where they actually did some
research focusing on our high school drop out rate in our local community and
they were able to take that information and then integrate some the Web 2.0 into
putting together a Power Point presentation that was actually presented at the Rural Schools and Community Trust’s Annual,
it’s a national conference. So they actually presented on
Web 2.0 at this conference. But the whole focus was how to address the
high school drop out rate in our community and the students actually took it from birth
because they actually started from the ground in doing the research and putting together the
Power Point presentation and the video for that and then they were able to actually present
it at a national conference up in Henderson, that’s up in the mountains of North Carolina. So the students were really excited about
that and as you can see we were able to come right back and upload some
of that information and pictures and everything on our Face Book site. And one of the things I’d just like to talk
about is how can we deepen the youth engagement in service learning activities and
throughout the community and I think that the website is a vehicle for doing that
but also being able to expose our young people to be able to access these information resources
and we see down the road and being able to possibly provide a presentation to our
public schools, our alternative schools and even communities of low wealth and one
of the things that Calvin and I have talked to at some length is the
ability to be able to communicate and speak the language of our young people. The ability that technology has empowered
a new generation and that if we’re able to effectively communicate positive
educational information and resources, that our young people are able to
really grasp that theory quickly. So we are really excited again about
this project and we’re looking to work with our public schools in seeing how we
think and possibly integrate this technology into a lot of the work that they do. It is, unfortunately, I’m aware that a
lot of public schools actually block a lot of these You Tube and My Space sites on the
campuses because the ability for students to get in and abuse it unfortunately. But if it’s some, under correct supervision, we really think that these technologies have
the ability to really empower a generation and to assist in you know increasing
the outcomes of into the grade testing, even have an effect on our high school
drop out rates and some other social issues that actually transpire in
communities of low wealth. So again I think this, we invite you, of
course, after the conference to feel free to go to our website and browse through some of the
photographs and some of the video coverage that the students were able to actually
upload and put on the system for River City. I think it really has taken us to a new
level of communication as it relates to how we communicate with our young people. So again we are again happy that we
were able to participate in this project with the national community service project.>>I know we’re running short on time but I did
want to mention before we begin our presentation that on the Twitter site, that’s become sort of
a resource for the students and they have begun to log in to the Twitter site
on a regular basis as well. There’s a lot of different URL’s
that they can you know click on there to get resource information and
they’re beginning to utilize that. So right now we’re sort of using our
Twitter site as a resource for the students and they’re finally beginning to come aboard
and again I’d like to say that both Angie and Ty have done a great job again challenging
some students who have a whole set of issues to deal with with regards to their
life but they got very excited about this social networking
project and again I’d just like to commend Angie and
Ty for their hard work.>>Okay, thank you.>>Can you guys just wait a second? This is Kristin. My guess is that there’s some
folks that have questions.>>Definitely.>>So we’ll open that up for people to either
ask the questions or type in the questions.>>Okay.>>Well I’ll ask a question now. This is Kristin. One of the things that we found that was
a challenging was that the young people in our projects like to take the videos
but then we just got lots and lots of video that needed editing that they didn’t have time
to do so were there certain things that you did to make sure the quality was high
because the clips you showed were great?>>Well, yeah, um. Well with the grant we were able to
get cameras, camcorders and cameras. Actual cameras, two of each, and both
of them, the cameras and the camcorders, were HD so that helped with actual
you know producing quality footage. With the HD camera, I did a lot to the editing. I used some software I got my
hands on to do the actual editing. Once I got familiar with the actual software, I
was able to go in and you know do a lot of stuff like layering the actual video footage, and
to add you know graphics in with the footage. You know, taking a bunch of different clips you
know because it’s like when you actually do try to make a clip or an actual movie you have so
much footage you have to go through and you have to cut out certain things like audio,
you know and actually bring it together and you know you keep playing
with it until you get something that you you know feel comfortable with.>>Let me say this. Now where the students really contributed is
in terms of the look and the feel of the video. You have to figure young people have a
great sense of I guess this video look because of all the videos
they watch on television. They have an idea of what they want so they
scripted their videos, they even the staging or the way they’re standing in
the video, they did all of that.>>[inaudible]>>Yeah, so that was where their input came
along and in order to have a quality project, Ty’s expertise was definitely
a part of that as well.>>But did Ty, Ty did you help them with some of that again helping them know what
makes good content or were you able to so they gave you a good enough that
when you edited it, it was really strong?>>Well yeah, I mean, for some movies, some
of the actual footage we shot I mean we had like limited footage so you know so some
stuff we had to you know do a lot of editing but some stuff we you know wrote scripts for. You know, you know when you actually do plan
for it comes out a lot better and a lot easier so you know it’s less work that we have to do.>>I don’t know if you guys can see but
there are people, Deedee’s saying very cool from Camp Fire, there’s other folks that
are talking about how exciting this is so. Any questions from other
people that are on the line? I want to ask one more question
and then, folks if you want to type in your questions otherwise we’ll
give a big round of applause to these folks before we transfer to Heartland
but did I understand correctly when you showed that TV piece, the regional television
coverage, do you think that was a result of some of the incredible short pieces that
you were able to have students produce? I mean is that how they caught wind of it?>>Well I think it has a lot to do with that and
then also our marketing efforts as it relates to what was actually transpiring in our
community as it relates to young folks and the actual service learning project and
rehabilitating low income housing at no cost and was a lot of buzz in our
local community as it relates to what was really actually transpiring
with communities of low wealth.>>No it’s just great. I think I remember meeting Calvin in
October and he was talking about the power. I mean in many ways this
could be powerful but sort of just promoting and getting
the story out there.>>Exactly.>>It seems like you know that you have just
done beautiful examples of all these stories but then other folks are going to start picking
up and saying oh we want to send our reporters or we want to know more because
the stories are so compelling. So it’s really, really fabulous.>>Well thank you.>>Okay. Well is there anything
else then that you all want to say before we shift to Heartland?>>I think it was a great presentation. Very good.>>Thank you.>>Thank you.>>Yay!!>>Thank you and again we’re excited at HMCUC
and River City with what we plan to do next so I think Ty and Angie both see where this,
see that there’s a lot of possibilities for utilizing social media and we’re
excited about doing even more with them.>>Well thank you. Thank you very much and it was really fun
to have a site just from the ground to talk about what it looked like too so
Calvin thanks for having them be able to feature their work so specifically. That’s great. It gives me an idea for next time for me.

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