February 9, 2018

In November, Alaska Teen Media Institute conducted a workshop on digital storytelling at the 64th annual Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) conference in downtown Anchorage. Student leaders from all across Alaska were in attendance.


“Every student that came to YLI came for a purpose,” said Vadim Yenan, a Savoonga, Alaska youth. “And that is to help improve their community, their school…and probably the world in the distant future.”


During the digital storytelling workshop, ATMI staff taught youth how to create their own short films, including conducting interviews, recording audio and gathering b-roll.  


“Our final video was an inspiring story of YLI for future applicants to watch to become informed on what exactly YLI is and how past participants felt about it,” wrote Lee Symbol, a Chevak, Alaska youth, in an article about the conference published by the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB).


Alaska Teen Media Institute Director Rosey Robards teaches Alaska youth how to conduct a video interview.


The AASB hosts the conference and describes it as “an opportunity for Alaska’s education leaders to convene for training opportunities, relationship building, and to experience a variety of dynamic events, talks, and sectionals.” According to AASB, over 300 school board members, students, speakers and guests in Anchorage were in attendance. The theme for this year’s conference was “Empowering the Whole Child.”


Youth said they’ll bring “hope” and “leadership” back to their communities.


“I see a lot of young people in my community maybe hesitating to step up and become leaders, whether it’s general apprehensiveness or some kind of internal fear,” said Killian DeTemple, a Sitka, Alaska youth. “I want to get that out of the way and inspire people to be leaders.”


“I hope to gain some communication skills by connecting with various people across the state, and I want to help spread more positive values in my school,” said Brianna Keifer, a youth from Nenana, Alaska.  


Keifer adds that she attended more than one workshop at YLI and that it was nice to see how the various skill sets can tie into leadership.


Alaska Youth interview each other about leadership and the knowledge they plan to bring back home.


Other workshops at the conference included “Tell Your Story Through Photography,” “Conducting a Good Meeting,” “Teambuilding through Games,” and “Storytelling and Advocacy,” among others.


Fun fact: AASB was one of the first funders of Spirit of Youth.