The last day of our advanced workshop is planned to resemble a real-life shoot day as closely as possible. As soon as we arrived, the teams got their cameras and immediately headed out to their locations to get the shots they missed on the very first day. Some students went to the director’s office of the community program while others headed back into the home-kitchens of the caterers. Our students were on a mad dash to get the images that would complete their given stories; Community Support and Integration of new immigrants to the North York area.
The morning’s shoot finished with a fantastic picnic in the park! The meal was prepared by those in the cooking/catering programs on site, and the food was as amazing as it was diverse. From Biryani and bbq chicken, to stir-fry and pasta salad, it was a complete delight! There must have been at least a dozen countries and at least three faiths represented in our little gathering! It was a great way to finish our week with the students…except they weren’t quite finished just yet…
Our students returned after lunch to face their biggest challenge yet: to combine the work of each student, edit, sequence, develop, and output a 3-minute video of images. These slideshows, were to be a photo essay that depicted the story of the community program(s) they immersed themselves in. Not only that, but they had to finish it completely on their own and by the given deadline.
For the most part everything went smoothly and we were pretty close to everyone finishing by the deadline. At 6:20 pm, about 4.5 hours of uninterrupted work after lunch, the last group finished their slideshows to a round of applause. We all got our coffee and tea, turned out the lights, and watched all of the slideshows…….and you know what? They owned it! Completely owned it! We’re so proud of each of the students and we can’t help but reflect about how far some of them have come.
After their dedication throughout the entire workshop, we thought a little graduation ceremony would be just the thing to honor each of their achievements. We handed out graduation certificates and the associate director of The Aga Khan Museum (our NGO partner) gave the students the nicest compliment saying that she didn’t want it to end….how great is that!?
So we wrapped up another advanced section with hugs and a slight tinge of sadness. However, these kids aren’t rid of us just yet…all but a few of them will be returning next week to help mentor the new group of beginning students! How great is THAT!!??