The Intern Perspective: Amirah Al Idrus

Amirah Al Idrus (Johns Hopkins University, class of 2013) interned with us this summer through The Center for Social Concern’s Community Impact Internships Program (CIIP) at Johns Hopkins University. As a Community Impact Intern, Amirah was an essential member in preparing for our  7th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival and venturing into the Baltimore community with the festival’s traveling exhibition. We wish Amirah the best while she finishes her last year at Johns Hopkins!

The day I started at Wide Angle, I was thrown into a frenzy of activity. It was two days before the 7th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival, and I felt like Dorothy in the tornado, whisked out of Kansas and unceremoniously dumped into a strange land named Oz.

On festival day, Lucy, Wide Angle’s Communication Intern, and I underwent a crash course in curating a photo exhibition. We decided which photos to hang next to each other and fashioned a tabletop exhibit in two hours. While preparing for the traveling exhibit to farmers’ markets, I learned the difference between how not to and how to mix concrete for the photo exhibition display. I talked to hundreds of people who came to see this exhibit and I was heartened by their interest and enthusiasm. I played games of teamwork and strategy with students, and I even learned how to record sound and video from some of Wide Angle’s capable and spirited youth producers.

I never could have expected to have so many different experiences during my internship. Many people view internships as a formality, a summer of suffering through fetching coffee and making photocopies so that in the future, we can all get the jobs we truly want. I discovered just how untrue this was at Wide Angle Youth Media. I met a team of staff who are incredibly dedicated to their mission and talented youth dedicated to sharing their stories. I have a hard time remembering everyone’s names and stories, but what I do remember is a group of proactive youth, who seize the opportunity to voice their thoughts, dreams, hopes and concerns about their lives in Baltimore.

Wide Angle Youth Media’s youth producers raise awareness about issues that are important to them through stunningly well-crafted films. They are truly inspiring. My eight weeks here have impacted, and will continue to impact, the way I choose to live my life. My experience has taught me that in Baltimore, someone is waiting to listen to what you have to say, but only if you make the decision to say it. As youth, we often find ourselves reluctant to act or speak out because we think that no one will care. Wide Angle Youth Media and its youth producers prove to me that this is no longer the case.

Posted July 30th, 2012 in Blog, Homepage, News by waym

The Intern Perspective: Lucy Coyle

Lucy Coyle (Johns Hopkins University, class of 2014) interned with us for part of the summer semester before leaving for her study abroad experience in Brazil. Lucy approached Wide Angle Youth Media because she wanted to be more engaged with the community around her and experience a non-profit setting. As a Communications Intern, Lucy was an integral part in promoting and preparing for the 7th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival. From writing blog posts with students to preparing countless mailings, Lucy was a an essential member of our team. We wish her the best while she studies abroad in Brazil!

Lucy CoyleOn my first day as a Wide Angle Youth Media Communications Intern, I stamped and labeled over 600 postcards for the 7th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival. I hardly knew what the festival was, let alone why so many people needed to know about it so quickly. Well, I soon realized that mailing 600 postcards barely scratched the surface of our outreach for this years festival.

We set up gift bags, we framed pictures, and we contacted festival participants. Although the activity may sound boring or monotonous, I took note of everything I could about the organization. I felt like I was a detective solving a mystery. Who was Wide Angle Youth Media as an organization, really? While completing my various assignments around the office, I found small clues that helped me to piece together what I think answers that question.

My first clues came in the form of scary-seeming acronyms found in the computer system I was working with. YMF means Youth Media Festival. BSO – Baltimore Speaks Out!. As I got to know Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM) a little bit better, these once-confusing acronyms gained a greater meaning.

Today, I understand that MVP doesn’t just mean Mentoring Video Project, but rather it signifies something on a greater level – intense student dedication to lofty film goals, true love of learning, and passion-fueled success. Each of our programs at Wide Angle Youth Media is a direct reflection of our wonderful students who give so much of themselves to our organization and to Baltimore.

Lucy Coyle participating in the PlayWorks’ workshop at 7th Annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival (Photo Credit: André Chung Photography)

As my experience continued, I met board members, who showed me dedication to the organization. Finally, I was able to meet and train few new summer interns who knew just as much as me when I started. It was honestly odd to be considered an authority on anything Wide Angle Youth Media related, but as I began to explain, I realized that I knew more than I thought. I am finally beginning to understand and truly appreciate all that Wide Angle Youth Media does, I have to leave, and that doesn’t seem fair.

At Wide Angle Youth Media, I have done something new with each day of my internship. I have crafted, poured concrete, blogged, played tag, and worked at farmers markets. Each day brings a new surprise at Wide Angle Youth Media as well as several smiles, insights, and lessons learned about the workplace, Baltimore, and all that it has to offer.

We are seeking several interns for the fall 2012 semester. College credit is available. Interning at Wide Angle Youth Media is a great opportunity to work closely with a small, dedicated group of youth media educators and to learn more about youth media as a tool for social justice. We are looking for interns interested in communications, production, and non-profit administration or assisting with our Fall programs.

Learn more about our internship opportunities

Posted July 5th, 2012 in Blog, Homepage, News by waym

The Intern Perspective: Amy Pratt

We have been proud to host Amy Pratt (College of Notre Dame, class of 2012) as an intern in our spring 2012 semester. Amy approached Wide Angle because she was eager to learn more about working as a media artist in a non-profit setting. As a Production Intern, Amy supported all aspects of our high school media work. From helping students prepare their video files for editing to knocking out rough cuts of contract work, Amy was a dedicated and dependable member of our team. We wish her great luck in her future endeavors!

While interning at Wide Angle Youth Media, I have been able to learn about the technical processes of long term projects. It gave me confidence that I am capable of working through the different steps of production, and forced me to accept a project as being unfinished for the time being. I know I will be able to use what I have learned here in my future career, and I’m thankful for the guidance and resources that have been available to me at Wide Angle Youth Media.

Getting to know the students here – and being a part of their production processes – has inspired me to envision the possibilities of my own future in production. I admire the effort that they put into their projects; observing the students brainstorming topics, creating storyboards, settting up interviews, and acting out extra scenes to help ensure their perspective will be heard, has given me a better understanding of the creative process.

In addition to teaching me new skills, my experience here has caused me to become more aware of the difficulties facing Baltimore City.  Youth producers at Wide Angle Youth Media are dedicated to addressing these topics in their films. They dive into a topic that they feel passionate about, and create entertaining media pieces with the ultimate intention of raising awareness about their specific topic of choice. I have learned so much about how the past, present, and future of Baltimore youth play into the ultimate health of the city at large.

* * *

Currently, our youth producers are working on an issue that they feel is not only important to youth and to Baltimore City, but that currently permeates every aspect of society at the national and international level: the absence of youth jobs.  McKinely Coleman, D’Andre Guess, and Ghani Muhammad (pictured above) seek to shed light on this important topic through extensive interviews and research, which will ultimately result in a documentary that they know will benefit, inform, and encourage a new generation of employers and job-seekers.

However, they are not able to complete this documentary without your help. They need $3,500 by May 31st to finish their film. Your donation of:

  • $25 supplies D’Andre and his team with bus passes for shooting on location.
  • $30 provides two-hours of filming, editing, and mentoring with our staff.
  • $50 supports outreach for film screenings where our students discuss their film with community members.


Donors will be listed as producers in the film’s credits and will be invited to a special event this summer.
Don’t miss out. Donate now.

 Wide Angle is looking for a production intern this summer, apply today!

Posted May 21st, 2012 in Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym