Results tagged “Aspire Awards”

Bringing My Creative Dreams to Life

AYV-Blog-Image-11When I first became involved with the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program three years ago, I did not know what I wanted for my future.  I never imagined that my involvement in the AYV program would help me to not only discover my goals, but inspire me to take the steps needed to achieve them.   Through AYV, I was introduced to filmmaking and discovered my passion for it. I discovered the power of film and how I can use it to express my voice and share my ideas with my community.

I was beyond honored in June when my film “Beautiful Words” was selected as the first place winner in the poetry category for the 2013 AYV Aspire Awards. I created my film with the intent of spreading a message to my community struggling with self-esteem issues, and you how you can build confidence through art, writing and other creative outlets.  AYV has provided me with a platform to share my message and build my own confidence while encouraging others to do the same.

This summer, I was selected to be one of 25 students from around the world to receive a Creativity Scholarship. The Creativity Scholarship is providing me the financial support to pursue my dreams and make a positive impact through my films. This fall, I plan to continue my education at Cal State East Bay pursuing a degree in Sociology and Film Production, while looking for a permanent film school.

Three years ago, my vision for my life was a mess. Since becoming involved with the AYV program in 2010, I’ve discovered new skills, a strong passion and my own unique voice. Receiving a Creativity Scholarship has allowed me to take the steps needed to turn my vision of becoming a filmmaker into reality and to someday share my voice with people all around the world.

Eva Miller is a 2013 Aspire Awards winner and recipient of the Creativity Scholarship.


Meet the 2013 AYV Aspire Award Winners

At Adobe, we believe creativity is a key to educational success for today’s youth. For this reason, I’m honored to be involved in our Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program and thrilled to announce the winners of our second annual AYV Aspire Awards competition, an online challenge that invites youth from all around the world to tap into their creativity and share their vision for change in local communities

The winning projects, now featured on the AYV website, are prime examples of how powerfully young people are able to express themselves when provided with the right resources. Following are a just few of the remarkable entries.


Life’s a Fight

Created by four talented youth from the Appalachian Media Institute, “Life’s a Fight” documents the issue of teenage bullying and explores how the social landscape now extends beyond the schoolyard, to the internet. In this short documentary film we hear stories from teachers, parents, and victims, and learn from a group of local teens who saw an opportunity to take a stand.


It Makes a Big Difference

Produced by Jeanviêr Janga, who leads a media team at the Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, this project addresses the ability of youth to change their communities one act of kindness at a time. Jeanviêr used Adobe tools to create a fun and creative animation which promotes the idea that each small act of kindness is a step toward a better world. Jeanviêr joined the AYV program in 2011 and won an Audience Choice award in last year’s Aspire Awards competition.

AYV3Bowing Down to the Earth

This piece, created by Agata Mroczek, a Polish student with a passion for photography and environmental protection, celebrates “Earth Hour” as an opportunity to unite and give the Earth an hour of rest. “Earth Hour,” an event started by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has been nine years in the making and takes place annually in Poland. Agata’s photos portray his event through the eyes of a young person.

This year, participation in the competition exceeded our expectations with an astounding 1,100 participants from 51 countries. In addition, entries received more than 830,000 votes from fans who selected their favorites to win the Audience Choice award. By utilizing a mix of storytelling formats, participants, like those shared above, address complex social and environmental topics, including bullying and climate change. While their entries represent a diverse range of ideas, they’re unified by a focus on finding solutions to the issues addressed.

Each Aspire Award participant gained important creative skills including media making, self-expression, ideation and collaboration. We believe this creativity skill set will help youth become more deeply engaged in their education in the short term and better prepared to succeed in an always evolving global economy in the long term. I encourage you to visit the AYV website and explore our digital gallery featuring each of this year’s extraordinary winners. I also invite you to learn more about our broader AYV program and explore opportunities to get involved. At Adobe, we know that by working together we can help build a bright and creative future for the next generation.

Sharing My Voice and Impact Through the AYV Aspire Awards Competition

AYV imageWhen I submitted my piece for the 2012 Aspire Awards, it was one of more than 800 submissions produced by students from all over the globe who each hoped, like I did, to be recognized for their talent.  So when the moment came that I discovered I had won first place in graphic design by way of audience votes, I was stunned. After the shock wore off, I became deeply moved to know that my project had raised awareness about teen suicide, a serious problem that is often ignored in today’s youth.

My piece, “Alone,” represented my desire to draw attention to teen suicide prevention and engage parents, teachers, family members and friends in the effort to help address depression in youth. Teens struggling with depression often feel they have no one to turn to. By including a hotline phone number in my artwork, I hoped to give my peers an opportunity to access needed help. Although this topic had been important to me for quite some time, I was unsure how to share this message with others, prior to my involvement with Adobe Youth Voices (AYV). The AYV Aspire Awards enabled me use my voice to call attention to the problem and get support for those I cared about who were struggling with this issue. Using the skills I learned through AYV, I was able to produce artwork that would speak to others and encourage many of my peers who needed help to seek it.

The Audience Choice Award was selected via online voting by the general public. Voters, who included friends, teachers, family members and other supporters helped spread the word on Twitter and Facebook, showing their determination to share my message. Over the course of the voting period, my project was viewed more than 30,000 times! The breadth of supporters who commented on my project encouraged me to consider a career in graphic design so that I can continue to share my ideas with the world around me. My supporters gave me confidence in my own ability to create something that can help to improve the world around me and inform people who are suffering, that there is hope. Without this support, my piece would not have had a chance to be viewed and shared by so many people.

AYV has opened my eyes to my own creative abilities. Yes, I can sit in front of a computer screen and draw away, creating doodles and wasting my time but after taking part in the Aspire Awards competition, I realized my art can help me express myself and in doing so, bring attention to important issues. Taking digital graphic design coursework has given me direction and an idea of what I want to do with my life. Not only will you see my name listed for participating in this competition, you can count on seeing my name again in the future for more pieces like this and others.

I encourage you to vote for your favorite entry as a means to inform participants that their work is indeed important and worth sharing with others. The more that people become aware, the more people will understand and realize that they are the key to creating solutions to the issues facing our communities and the world at large. If it were up to me, I’d want to see fewer and fewer issues covered each year by Aspire Awards projects, so that I know that problems being publicized in this competition are being improved, all because someone took the time to show them to the world. You can bet that I will be voting for my favorite entries for years to come!

Aspire Judge Meredith Lavitt Sees AYV Youth as “Changemakers”

I remember the first time I picked-up a video camera and created a story. It was an empowering experience that opened up a new world to me and allowed me to creatively express myself and share my ideas and passions with others. With the Adobe Youth Voice’s (AYV) Aspire Awards competition, Adobe is creating the opportunity for youth to come together and share original digital media projects that bravely and creatively address issues most important to them in their communities and beyond.

My personal passion for filmmaking was sparked in high school when I tried out for my senior year’s dance theatre workshop and did not make it. I was devastated, but when I found out that I could still participate by creating a documentary film about the process of choreography a seed was planted inside me. As that idea germinated, I became more and more excited to be able to combine my passion for dance with the art of storytelling and filmmaking.

AYV ImageToday, I am the Director of the Film Forward Initiative for the Sundance Institute and a filmmaker. I am also the founder of Swirl Productions, an independent production company focusing on documentary films for the theatrical and broadcast markets. I have been very fortunate to work as both a filmmaker and film professional supporting directors and producers in their art and craft. Having the opportunity to be the artist, mentor and executive has afforded me the insight that the key to success is not losing sight of your story. We each have many stories to tell and finding your authentic voice and staying true to your vision is what makes your story rise above the rest.

I am excited to be a judge for the Aspire Awards and be involved in a program that has the potential to help inspire and facilitate the development of the next generation of storytellers. As adults, we have to remind each other how important it is to listen and learn from youth. It is incredibly rewarding to work with youth as they discover their voice and that sense of empowerment from creating and sharing their unique digital work. These are valuable and practical skills that will translate into their next pursuit and/or career path.

Digital art making not only allows for participant’s stories to be expressed but provides a valuable entrée into the minds and concerns of young people today. What are they consumed by? What do they feel strongly about? And who is captivating their interest? It’s exciting to see so many youth concerned about community, social and global issues from women’s health and safety issues in India to managing physical disabilities in Morocco to standing up to bullies in Canada. Film is a powerful medium to connect people and effect change, and it is quite clear, through this year’s finalists, that there are more than a few “changemakers” out there.

It is an honor to be involved in the Aspire Awards as a judge and I look forward to the tremendous task ahead of helping to select a winner in each of the content categories.

I encourage you to participate as well and help select the Audience Award winners. Not only will you be part of this engaging process, but you will learn more about the issues that truly matter to today’s youth. Please visit the Aspire Awards Website to watch the extraordinary talent of our AYV youth and vote for your favorite entries!

Now Accepting Youth Submissions for 2013 AYV Aspire Awards

Adobe believes creativity not only makes the world a more beautiful place, but it is also a critical component to addressing some of the most difficult challenges we face as a society.

The global State of Create report Adobe released last year revealed only one in four people believe they’re living up to their own creative potential. In response, we’ve aimed to address this “creativity gap” by further imbedding creativity into our products, communities and schools.

Through Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), Adobe’s global philanthropic commitment, we’re working to ignite creative confidence in youth by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. In doing so, we can help them become more active and engaged members of their communities and society at large. As an extension of this commitment, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of this year’s AYV Aspire Awards competition.

Now in its second year, AYV Aspire Awards is a global, online challenge that invites youth to creatively express their vision for driving positive change in local communities. Participants can convey their ideas using a variety of visual storytelling methods, from videos to photo essays. In addition, a new category for this year – the UNICEF Challenge – invites youth to develop a video proposal for a project they’d like to implement.

The Aspire Awards call for entries is now open, and we’re looking forward to kicking-off online voting for the public in late April.

Last year’s entries showcased remarkable talent. Below are a few of our favorites.

It’s an exciting time for us – please check out our AYV site for more info, and keep an eye out for more AYV-related announcements in the coming weeks.

Hoodforts is a documentary that aims to dispel misconceptions about “hooded” youth in the Mile End area of London.

Hoodforts dispels misconceptions about “hooded” youth in the Mile End area of London.

Cambio Jovenes is an animated video that explores how youth can shape the world around us.

Cambio Jovenes explores how youth can shape the world around us.

Keep Pushing is a music video about the importance of persistence in the face of hardship.

Keep Pushing is about the importance of persistence in the face of hardship.

MTV, Dell & Samsung Add Voices to AYV Aspire Awards

The hits keep coming for Adobe Youth Voices. Today, the Adobe Foundation announced that it has joined forces with MTV, Dell and Samsung as supporting partners of the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards.

Launched just this year, the Aspire Awards are a first-of-their-kind online youth media competition and festival showcasing creative media from teens ages 13-18 worldwide. The awards honor youth who creatively communicate a vision for change in their communities and lives through video, print and audio projects.

We’re thrilled to have the support of MTV, Dell and Samsung for the inaugural AYV Aspire Awards. As part of its involvement, MTV is presenting a special award to recognize one young person whose exceptional video content leverages music, and provides a clear call to action for the audience. The recipient of this award will win a trip to MTV studios in New York City!

Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards

Students are invited to participate in partnership with an educator, who will submit media on behalf of their students in eight media categories ranging from documentaries to graphic design. Entries will be evaluated by a global panel of teen peers, youth media professionals, educators, media industry experts and filmmakers, including Neil Bennett, Sarah Kay, and Robert Kenner. MTV Act, which celebrates young people who take action to make things better, will feature Aspire Awards winners on the MTV Act website.

Submissions must be made by April 20th and we’ll announce the semifinalists on May 4th.  So spread the word to a creative student and visit our Aspire Awards website for more details.

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