Q&A with #SummerImpact winner Chris Gordon
Earlier this month we launched our #SummerImpact contest where we asked you, our faithful readers, to tweet what you’d be doing this summer to make a social impact. We got loads of amazing and diverse world-changing responses. We selected five winners and we’re giving those folks an opportunity to share their stories here on Dowser.
@chrismmgordon: Running free film course with young people aged 18-24 in our area. Awesome enthusiasm with great group. @dowserDOTorg #SummerImpact
Chris Gordon, 26
Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
Dowser: How did you get involved with this program? Was there something specific that got you interested?
Gordan: Ireland is going through a tough time. Some of the worst hit are the youth, 24 years and younger. Any job will do and each day, many people make sacrifices and compromises on what they want to do because it is easier or because it is all that is available. Many people seem to cruise through hoping that something will change their fortune or outlook, but this rarely happens. All youth have potential. Stick a camera in the mix and the potential is released.
Can you tell us a little about what this organization does?
Youth Media gives youth aged 18-24 the opportunity to get involved in media, use cameras and learn how to put some movies together. They develop confidence, a new outlook and new skills to be proud of, such as acting, directing, filming, and editing. Gives another hope other than working to party.
If I were a fly on the wall while you worked, what would I see you doing on a typical day?
I usually stand back a bit and try and keep the direction reasonably focused only when I have to! I don’t control subject matter or anything else. Sometimes it is OK to make mistakes. We analyze them, work out how not to do it again and learn from the mistakes.
Has this experience changed how you’ll be approaching your future work, goals, or career path?
I am encouraged that there is always a need for new challenges. That youth are capable of more and shine when given the opportunity to do what they love. In this case, we need a camera and a bit of editing time. The ideas are endless, the movies are great and the opportunities can be life changing. I love this work.
Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing a similar experience?
Do not give up. I have a great quote from Bill Strickland taken from an inspiring book called Make the Impossible Possible: ‘Trust your passion, identify your dreams, and find the courage to share them with others, no matter how many times they call you a fool. If your vision has merit, no matter how impossible it may seem, someone will recognize it and make it come true.’ You have one life. You may be young, but you will never be this age again. Make it count.
What’s something concrete and tangible you’ve learned this summer?
When given the chance, young people will learn. They will shock and they will surprise you. Just be open to the experiences. Encourage craziness. You’ll only regret it if you don’t.
Photo: Chris Gordon