Born & Raised: Harlem
First EVC Project: Life Under Suspicion (Doc Workshop, Fall 2012)
CURRENT EDUCATION: LaGuardia Community College, Major: New Media Technology
Raelene was born in Harlem in 1994, and has lived there in the same apartment ever since. After dropping out of high school, she enrolled in a GED program where her advisor Noah recommended she apply for EVC’s Youth Doc Workshop. Her group’s first project was documenting the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy. She admits she was shy at first, since it was her first internship ever. But she learned a lot and after it ended, she knew she wanted to return for the Advanced Workshop. Then her team produced Breathing Easy about her family’s asthma and toxic mold in their apartment. Through that project, she met community environmental activists from WEAct who invited her to screen her film at their housing conference. It was also shown at the CDC Museum’s exhibition, “Health is a Human Right” in Atlanta. Even though she had passed her GED exam, she returned to EVC for the next semester when her group produced Beyond Bullying. Interviewing her friend for this film helped her understand the abuses he suffered that led him to be bully.
For the past two summers, Raelene taught teams of girls to create interactive websites on community issues for the Waves of Change project. In the fall of 2014, she enrolled in LaGuardia Community College, and majors in New Media Technology. She also works part time producing/editing promotional videos for NYC’s District 79 GED program, and recently won a Performing Arts Award.
After screening Breathing Easy for NYC Council members, and EVC gained support from Senator Gillibrand’s office, NYCHA finally renovated her apartment. And it is now mold free!
Born: Puerto Rico
First EVC Project: Another Part of Me (Doc Workshop, Fall 2009)
CURRENT CAREER: Songwriter; Teacher; MC/Spoken Word Artist
Born in Puerto Rico, Ricardo moved to the Bronx when he was 3-years-old. He joined EVC’s Youth Documentary Workshops in 2009 and produced Another Part of Me about juvenile justice and the war on drugs, and returned the next semester to produce When the Sun Comes Up, the Bricks Fall Down about gentrification in Brooklyn and the Bronx. After he graduated from Satellite Academy High School, he was invited by a producer to live in Italy for three months writing songs and performing them. When he returned to the Bronx, he volunteered as a music teacher at an elementary school in his neighborhood, and went on to work for organizations including Carnegie Hall, the Bronx Museum and the Found Sound Nation teaching songwriting and music production workshops to elementary and middle school students in shelters, hospitals and detention centers. Since then, he has toured the world teaching music and performing in Paris, Berlin, Italy, Venezuela, and Chile.
Ricardo credits EVC with helping him launch his recording career. He used his EVC skills to shoot and edit a video for his Kickstarter campaign and raised $8,000 to produce his first album.
Raised: Dominican Republic and the Bronx
First EVC Project: Gender Power (Doc Workshop, Fall 2013)
CURRENT EDUCATION: Sophomore in Borough of Manhattan Community College; Vice Prsesident of Film Club
Born in Manhattan in 1995, Raefael moved when he was three to live with his grandmother in the Dominican Republic, and then moved to the Bronx when he was 6. He wasn’t doing well in high school. He explained that he woke up one day to the realization that if he didn’t graduate from high school, he wouldn’t be successful in life. When he went to City-As-School, he found out he could go on internships to learn about almost anything that he was passionate about. And he was passionate about film, theater, and communications. So he applied and was accepted to EVC’s Youth Doc Workshop.
Working on his team’s documentary on street harassment, he not only learned artistic film techniques but how to combine them with a sociological perspective on gender and community. The more he edited and listened to the interviews, the more he realized how desensitized he had become to the ways young men objectified girls and women.
He went on to graduate high school in 2014, and was accepted to BMCC where he majored in theater and joined the film club. He is now vice president of the film club, and has directed a short film that screened at Tribeca. This summer he has been presenting his EVC documentary at screenings for youth in local library branches in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Born: St. Lucia
First EVC Project: At One Time of Another: How Teens Grieve (Doc Workshop, Fall 1999)
CURRENT CAREER: NY Camera Assistant, Law and Order: SVU
BFA Magna Cum Laude in Media & Communication Arts, City College, 2009
Born in St Lucia in 1980, Kellon moved to the Bronx in 1989. A high school internship brought him to EVC. He had been making home videos with friends outside school but mostly was acting – he didn’t know the technical side and had never thought about it as a career.
After his Doc Workshop class, Kellon was hooked and came back to do EVC’s advanced program called YO-TV and became EVC’s part-time Equipment Manager. From there, he went on to become an assistant to Doc Workshop and YO-TV teachers while also developing his own production skills on short freelance projects through YO-TV’s pre-professional training opportunities. In 2004, he enrolled in the Media and Communications program at City College, continuing his work at EVC working to inspire other young people to love learning and make their voices heard.
Kellon is currently making a living as a camera assistant for Law and Order, with hopes of eventually becoming a Director of Photography in film & TV.
Born & Raised: Bronx, NY
First EVC Project: Sometimes the Silence Can Seem So Loud (Doc Workshop, Fall 2005)
Current College: MA in Community Organizing, Planning & Development – Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter, 2014
Ines joined EVC as a high school senior. She had never considered filmmaking but a counselor at a youth activist program suggested it because she knew Ines was interested in social change. She says nothing had excited her as much as EVC. She created a video on teen suicide in Doc Workshop where she became particularly interested in editing. But she credits YO-TV to opening her up to the world. In this pre-professional training program Ines worked with 5 other youth to create the award winning documentary Still Standing about the aftermath to hurricane Katrina. She traveled to New Orleans to shoot and to engage in community service there. EVC showed Ines that activism can be creative.
After YO-TV, Ines worked on EVC’s partnership with BET’s Youth Vote Campaign. Six youth producers were hired by BET to create shorts encouraging young people to get out and vote. Ines believes her time at EVC gave her an advantage at City College where she earned her BFA. Because of her work producing documentaries, she knew both how to be a leader and how to work with others. Ines has also earned a Masters in Social Work to use social work to help communities and individuals to tell their own stories – to continue to combine creativity and social change.
Shakeima first became interested in filmmaking after seeing the movie, The Color Purple. She had been in the foster care system and after being adopted by her great aunt, used that experience to create a film. Soon after, she joined YO-TV, EVC’s pre-professional training program. Shakeima and five other young women spent nine months researching and creating a documentary on depression among youth of color. The War Within: Youth Depression explores this hidden crisis through interviews with youth, clinicians, and mental health advocates.
After working as a YO-TV Intern, EVC secured an internship for Shakeima at Union Editorial, a prestigious documentary and commercial editing house. Shakeima spent a year after YOTV interning there with award winning partner/editor and EVC Advisory Board member Sloane Klevin. She credits this experience with waking her up to the business side of video and filmmaking, making her aware of all the parts involved in being a successful media producer.In 2012, Shakeima interned for POV a small documentary division of PBS, and interned at other well-established film companies such as DCTV (Downtown Community Television) founded by Jon Alpert. Shakeima’s last employment was a freelance position at BET Networks, where she worked as a Production Associate in development. She completed her MFA in Documentary Filmmaking at City College. Shakeima’s thesis film Beauty: Only Skin Deep??? explores the ideology of what beauty is considered to be in the African American community, and won the New York Women In Film And Television Award. She hopes to help other youth tell their stories, “kids just want to express themselves but if they don’t have the resources, they won’t be able to.”
Raised: Brooklyn, NY
First EVC Project: Milleniphobia (Doc Workshop, Fall 1999)
CURRENT CAREER: CineKids Project Coordinator, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Before coming to EVC, Christine was a runaway and a high school dropout.
In 1999, she took an internship at EVC’s Doc Workshop and was hooked. She was never late, never missed a day, and returned the next year for EVC’s advanced program, YO-TV. After graduating from EVC youth programs, Christine came back as an instructor and taught the DocuLab youth workshop for Time Warner and an after school workshop sponsored by the United Way.
In 2005, she gradated Magna Cum Laude with a BA degree in Media Studies from Hunter College. In 2008, she received her Masters from the Comparative Ethnic Conflict program at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In addition to teaching EVC’s Documentary Workshop in 2007, Christine has taught EVC video classes to youth in an international camp in Finland; to Protestant and Catholic youth in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and to youth in Soweto, South Africa. In the fall of 2010, Christine returned to EVC and worked as the Co-Director of Youth Documentary Workshop and Educational Program Manager until 2015. She has been selected to be in the 2012 Latino American Who’s Who List.