Ready, Set, Create: Gearing up for AYV Summit 2013

AYV Pre-Summit Blog_Eva MillerOur third international Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Summit kicks off on August 12, bringing teens and educators from 23 countries worldwide together in Santa Clara, California, to celebrate creative thinking and harness their digital media skills for positive social change. The youth attending the Summit have been hand selected and previously participated in the AYV program, which has touched about 132,000 members spanning from Africa to North America since its inception in 2006.

We truly believe that creativity in education is critical to prepare young people as the problem solvers, critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. During the week-long event, teens will be immersed in a media arts experience, where they’ll collaborate with creative professionals and luminaries, learning digital media skills that help them express their creativity through digital photography, videography, music and animation. Media projects represent difficult issues youth are facing such as bullying, body image, gender identity and human rights, and call for social change.

Here’s a portrait of some of this year’s attendees:

  • Eva Miller, a high school senior from Hayward, CA, who honed her skills in film production through her involvement in AYV. She was awarded first place in the AYV Aspire Awards poetry category for her piece “Beautiful Words,” and earlier this month, she was also selected to be one of 25 students from around the world to receive an AYV Creativity Scholarship.
  • Dhenzel Obeng, a quiet and hardworking student in Canada, saw his experience in AYV take off when he won an award in the animation category at the Toronto International Film Festival, with his film called “I Wish For,” addressing critical environmental issues.
  • Mirtha Brun, a 14 year old from Uruguay, encouraged her friends to join the AYV program after discovering that by creating a video about her best friend’s struggles with blindness, she was able to inspire others and encourage awareness for youth with disabilities
  • Andrew Elias, a 17 year old from Redwood City, CA, recently won second place in the AYV Aspire Awards narrative category for his film “Silicon.” The film depicts an ESL student who uses science to communicate and focuses on how solutions can be found through science and art.

This year we’re honored to have Lee Hirsch, a documentary filmmaker, officially open and welcome students and educators to AYV Summit. He’s best known for his 2011 film, Bully and founder of The Bully Project and encourages people to use empathy and creative expression to drive cultural change.

Youth will also mingle with artists, creative professionals, Adobe employees and thought leaders from organizations such as U.S. Department of Education, TED Conferences, The Kennedy Center and San Diego State University. Closing the Summit, we’ll have a special appearance by musical artist and actor, Common, representing Common Ground Foundation (CGF), which encourages students to explore their creative talent as a key to unlocking their unique gifts.

As youth and educators from around the globe begin their journey to Santa Clara for this inspiring event, we’re looking forward to welcoming them and watching them create! We’re honored to be part of the personal journey of all the AYV youth who have found their voice, expressed their ideas and become active and engaged members of their communities through our program, all around the world.

Check back or follow us on Twitter and Facebook next week to see what’s happening at Summit and join our conversation.

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