Institutional Advocacy: Ithaca College and Empowering Students

By AGB December 20, 2019 May 13th, 2021 Blog Post

Filmmaking is one of the most effective forms of storytelling to a wide audience. Some films have galvanized society to change its behavior, or to come to a new understanding on an important topic. Other movies exist to break us out of our ritual and routine, and force us to see the world from a new perspective. The skills needed for good storytelling are useful in most careers, but they can be difficult to practice in a traditional classroom setting. Ithaca College found a way to empower students to practice these skills out in the world. Just as importantly, enterprising students are discovering how they can share their passion and talents with their communities.

For example, Ithaca College student Eden Strachan created the Filmmakers for the Future program to teach young people in the Syracuse community the essentials of filmmaking. In an article from Ithaca College, Strachan describes how she started the project, leveraging a grant from Ithaca’s Park Scholar service project, a summer internship she completed at Stan & Deliver Films in Santa Monica, and her own college studies. Strachan offered filmmaking sessions to members of the Boys and Girls Club in Syracuse, exposing students to fundamental facets of communicating through film, like storyboarding and media responsibility. The enthusiasm and engagement she’s seen in Syracuse have encouraged her to offer Filmmakers for the Future to other school districts throughout New York. Her goal is to open a no-cost summer camp program for low-income students. Strachan is driven by her passion to help others, saying, “I want other youth to have the opportunity to realize their dreams like I did. Lack of access should not be the reason why someone can’t succeed.”

AGB believes that colleges and universities can demonstrate the value of higher education in all its forms. There are innumerable ways that boards can consider how colleges and universities might communicate the broad value of higher education. How might the board elevate these efforts at your own institution?

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