Giving Compass’ Take:
• Carlitos Rodriguez, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, created Stories Untold, a program that allows survivors and community members relay how the shooting has impacted their lives.
• How can storytelling help fight the impacts of gun violence? What are the ways donors can further support survivors of school shootings?
• Learn why gun violence research matters.
On Valentine’s Day 2018, Carlitos Rodriguez tucked his camera into his school bag. He was planning to film a video about “love, support, friendship, and goodness” for his vlog.
Instead, he captured the terror in his friends’ faces as they desperately tried to stay safe during a mass shooting that left 17 students and faculty dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Heartbroken and shocked, Rodriguez and his friends comforted each other by sharing their stories and feelings about that terrible day. But as the media blasted story after story focused on the shooting and the shooter, Rodriguez noticed that stories from those devastated by the gun violence were missing from the narrative.
With some urging from his mom, the self-taught filmmaker created Stories Untold, a program that lets those left behind share their stories through video. He started by interviewing and filming people in his community about how the Parkland shooting impacted them personally. The project quickly snowballed into an effort to share stories about the effects of gun violence across the nation.
Recently, the 19-year-old learned that Stories Untold won the top prize in the education category of T-Mobile’s Changemaker Challenge. “I was just out of words and breath,” says Rodriguez. “I’m so thankful to be a part of the Changemaker Challenge and be able to expand the work we do with Untold Stories.”
EdSurge sat down with Rodriguez to learn more about why he created Stories Untold, how he hopes to support those affected by gun violence, and how winning the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge will help him expand his work.
Read the full article about using media to show impacts of gun violence by Wendy McMahon at EdSurge.
Youth Development is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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