March Retreat: Why What’s the Story?

What’s the Story is a course I’m taking that allows me to create a documentary about a local issue that I care about. That being said, a documentary doesn’t have to be the final product of your work. You can create a wide variety of things to get your message across to the public. What’s the Story is much different than any course I’ve taken. It allows me to go out into the real world and learn skills like time management, self-direction, problem-solving, interview skills/communication skills, blogging/writing skills, filming/editing skills, etc. Through this program, I’ve met so many great people who are all super passionate about their issue. It’s incredibly motivating and inspiring to come to work sessions and overnight retreats and see the other WtS participants excitedly crafting their documentaries.

If you’re reading this and wondering if you should apply to be included in next years What’s the Story cohort, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. You will gain skills that can be used all throughout your life. You do not have to come into WtS knowing exactly what you’re going to focus on or what your final product will look like, and you’ll likely make some great connections to people within WtS and the community. So, if anything I’ve said has caught your attention and this sounds like something you might want to participate in, please take the time and apply. I sincerely doubt you’ll regret it.

Throughout my WtS experience, I have learned just how important skills like time management and self direction really are, and how important it is to start developing those skills as early as possible. I had a lot of trouble at the beginning of the year figuring out what to write on my blog, steps to take in order to get everything done, and figuring out how much time it’d take me to do the tasks I had to do. I got stuck a lot, and when I got stuck, I would immediately shut down. Because of WtS, I learned not to stop at stuck points. I learned that if I’m stuck, to talk about being stuck so that people could help me get un-stuck. I also learned how to conduct an effective interview, and how to communicate through setting up interviews with various people. I learned so much about myself through this program and I want others to experience that as well.

Maddie Parker

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