There are many ways we can tell the story of EVC’s impact.  Here are a just a few.

  • the power and authenticity of our students’ work and the critical acclaim they have won;
  • the size and diversity of EVC film audiences, and the quality of discussion that follows the screenings;
  • the community education and social activism we have supported and inspired;
  • the number of teachers we’ve coached in EVC’s methodology and the change in their practice;
  • and our influence as thought leaders in the field and the range of educational publications written by, and about EVC.


But what we’re most proud of is the life changing impact that the EVC experience has on our students during our workshops, and in their college, career, and civic life years later. We assess their growth and development through:

  • Student portfolio presentations of skill development.  Learn about our process and watch a sample roundtable.


  • Alumni testimonials and snapshot interviews with graduates. Read their “Snapshots” and watch clips from EVC alumni oral history testimonials conducted by Joe Riina-Ferrie and the Teachers College MASCLab.


  • Surveys evaluating students’ development of social skills, self-management, and positive identity. Learn about the data we are collecting and what we are learning in partnership with evaluation consultants from Algorhythm , supported by the Robert Bowne Foundation.

Raelene Holmes-Andrews

Born & Raised: Harlemraelene-mjs

First EVC Project: Life Under Suspicion (Doc Workshop, Fall 2012)

CURRENT EDUCATION: LaGuardia Community College, Major: New Media Technology

Raelene’s Story:

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!

Favorite EVC Project:

Life Under Suspicion. It was completely hands on. I learned everything I needed to know technically on that project. I wasn’t really into politics before, but that film taught me who is in charge of what. That made me interested in politics.

Proudest Youth Media Moments:

Of course I’m going to say, San Francisco. When I flew out there for the Media for a Just Society Award (for our stop and frisk film). I didn’t think something like a little internship would get me out of the city to places like that! It was awesome, I don’t even know how to explain it. But having to fly on the plane to get there was the scariest thing in my life!

Advice to the Next EVC Generation:

Do not give up. Stay focused. Even when you are down to the wire and you feel no work is getting done, and there is no hope. There is something good that will come out of this. Always think of the end product you are working towards.  That’s what I did.  

Ricardo "Luss" Nigaglioni

Born: Puerto Ricoricardo

Raised: Bronx

First EVC Project: Another Part of Me (Doc Workshop, Fall 2009)

CURRENT CAREER: Songwriter; Teacher; MC/Spoken Word Artist

Ricardo’s Story:

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.

Favorite EVC Project:

It’s hard to pick a favorite. I like them both for different reasons. I really liked collaborating with people from different backgrounds, different schools and neighborhoods, and somehow in the short amount of time we came out with a documentary. That was quite an accomplishment! And I still keep in contact with some of those people after all these years.

Proudest Youth Media Moments:

Creating those documentaries allowed me to be the artist I was. I used that platform to express myself on each of the film’s topics– juvenile justice and gentrification. I  remember the conversation we had about how gentrification was affecting our families, and took bits and pieces of what everyone was saying. I stayed up all night and wrote it down. That became the spoken word poem that ended the film.

Advice to the Next EVC Generation:  

Use EVC as a platform. Sometimes there’s a problem you see everyday in front of your face, you even forget that its an issue.  But it is an issue. If you don’t know how to address it, make a video, have a  screening and make people aware of it. Then you are the one creating the media and getting your message out.  EVC is giving you a gift. Use the gift that’s in front of you.

Rafael Gell

Born: ManhattanRAFAEL

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

Rafaels Story:

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.

Favorite EVC Project:

Gender Power —  my group’s documentary on street harassment. Interviewing Ronnie, one of my best friends, was a challenge for me. Because of the way he always bothered girls on the streets, I wanted him to change. That’s why I interviewed him the way I did. To get him to really think about what he was doing, and have the other boys who will watch our  video think about it too.

Proudest Youth Media Moments:

My proudest moment was when I was standing on the stage at HBO, screening our documentary, Gender Power. I actually felt that I had achieved something great.  And I felt that I wanted more.  That was a motivation for me to keep going at it and doing what I love. Which is film.  And I know I wont stop till I achieve my goals.  My dream is to win an Academy Award.

Kellon Innocent

Born: St. Luciakellon

Raised: Bronx

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

Kellons Story:

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.

Favorite EVC Project:

The first one. It was the first time I was consciously being creative. Before I just did what I was told. The teacher, Joan, asked us what we thought about things – that was the first time that my opinion was valued. Normally I wouldn’t say anything but here I was being asked to speak up. I never had that happen before.

Proudest Youth Media Moments:

The YO-TV screening of “Tough on Crime, Tough on Our Kind” made me proud. It was at Lincoln Center and seeing all of those people watching our work was amazing. We had four screenings and each one was packed. I felt like people thought we were experts. We had just finished our documentary but people asked us really deep questions. I see that at EVC screenings even now. I also feel proud of my students at EVC. I remember one student who was classified as having a learning disability but at EVC he seemed always ready to learn more. He was excited by learning and proud about his work there and that made me feel proud.

Ines Morales

Born & Raised: Bronx, NYines

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’ Story:

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.

Favorite EVC Project:

Definitely “Still Standing.” The topic was relevant and I learned so much. I learned how to work with different people. It also took me out of my comfort zone. When we went to New Orleans after Katrina we had to sleep in an abandoned school in a communal situation and it was weird to me with coed bathrooms and outdoor showers but afterwards I relaxed into it and realized what an amazing experience it was. My last year of college I decided to do a short documentary study program in India for a month. Because of my experience with EVC, I was able to handle new and different situations in India much better than a lot of my classmates.

Proudest Youth Media Moment:

I think it would be when “Still Standing” won the Jury award for the Media that Matters Film Festival. I didn’t know how important this festival was until after we won. I really felt like a professional – the other films there were from all over the country and most of the films were by adults. And at EVC we had control over our project. When I think about it now, I realize “Wow, that’s a great accomplishment!” YO-TV was just an internship. I didn’t think it would go that far. And now it’s been all around. 

Shakeima Cooks

Born & _MG_1635Raised: Bronx

First EVC Project: The War Within: Youth Depression (YO-TV, 2009)

CURRENT CAREER: BA in Public Relations and Advertising – City College, 2011
MFA in Documentary Filmmaking – City College, 2013
Freelance Producer

Shakeimas Story:


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.”

Best Skill Learned at EVC:

“Definitely interviewing the subjects – EVC taught me how to do good interviews and develop good interviewing skills. It taught me to just listen and be able to deal with how your subject is feeling – understanding how they think and being able to relate and connect their struggle.

Most Memorable EVC Moment:

“One experience that stood out was when we got a chance to volunteer for the author Terrie Williams in her campaign, “Healing Starts With Us” and I saw other people from my community go up and talk about their experiences. I got to hear people of color talk about depression. Through that I got the chance to meet with a psychiatrist and discuss issues that I have been battling and struggling with since my childhood. This later on helped me to seek counseling at Full Circle Health. And I realized that I am not the only one battling depression — that there were many others.”

Christine L Mendoza

Born: ManhattanChristine

Raised: Brooklyn, NY

First EVC Project: Milleniphobia (Doc Workshop, Fall 1999)

CURRENT CAREER: CineKids Project Coordinator, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Christines Story:

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.

Favorite EVC Project:

Tough on Crime, Tough on Our Kind (YO-TV 2000-2001) because I was exposed to a part of American society that many people do not have the opportunity to explore and learn about. My views on the juvenile justice system changed dramatically from when I started the project to when I completed it. I began as a unsympathetic person who did not care about societal injustices and through my research and interviews, my views changed. I became angry at what was going on and realized that incarceration is punishing young people, when the original intention was to rehabilitate them. Also, it was my favorite because of the friendships I created which I still have today.

Proudest Youth Media Moment:

“My documentary workshop screening. I was 17 and my father was sitting in the audience in the front row. He was never a part of my life and never supported me in anything I did. He always thought I was and would be a failure. BUT he sat through it and watched me present my work and he even asked a question, I had a lump in my throat and answered proudly. That was an emotional moment that I will never forget.