MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s camera blocking time outside Urgent Inc in Overtown, a not for profit community development organization dedicated to empowering young minds to transform their communities.
Urgent Inc teaches teenagers that through teamwork, and hard work, they can do anything. Shedia Nelson is Urgent’s artistic manager.
“One of the ways we do that is ‘activated youth voice to media platforms’ such as film, photography, visual arts, spoken word, and music production and radio broadcast journalism,” she said.
The kids involved in this after-school program, who come from Liberty City, Little Haiti, Overtown, and Goulds, were busy recently working on a commercial about Urgent Inc.
“Today is very exciting. We have our first film shoot for our first Urgent Inc commercial. It’s all produced by the students, directed, written, and performed all by our young people in our youth development program,” Nelson.
The producer and director of the commercial is 17-year-old Marcus Williams, a junior at Miami Edison High School. Nelson, who has been mentoring Williams since early last year, said he came in quite shy.
“So we started chipping off the surface. We said ‘Marcus how about this? Marcus, you’re really good with writing’. We started publishing his poetry and then he went behind the camera and started taking still photos, beautiful photos, and then we said Marcus what about filmmaking,” said Nelson.
“She guides me as if I’m a leader, in that I can accomplish anything in life and that I should never let barriers stop me,” said Williams.
“Did you even know you had an interest in film production,” asked CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo while on set with Williams.
“No, I didn’t. I always admired photography but never filmmaking. Now I see myself going to college receiving my BFA and just pursuing the role of expressing beauty and content around the world,” he said.
Williams works hands-on, leading his team for the commercial shoot, noticing every angle and every mistake.
“I saw a leadership quality coming out of him so I just kept pushing and nudging and seeing him shine. Now I step back and say Marcus you got this,” said Nelson.
As for Williams, he knows he’s got to work hard for his future, something he’s learned directly from his mentor.
“I’m so dedicated that I keep pushing and Ms. Shedia keeps pushing me. She’s like ‘Marcus make sure you do this, are you done?’ She also makes sure I never forget where I came from,” he said.
“He’s just making things happen. It’s like once we give them the opportunity, then they start excelling in all aspects of their lives. It’s so heartwarming. I’m so excited and so proud of him, said Nelson.
For more info on Urgent Inc: urgentinc.org.
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