Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship

>Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship
Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship2022-01-20T15:47:38-06:00
Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship
Program Description

Calling young storytellers! We’re seeking a Youth Voices Storytelling Fellow. This is an opportunity to use your experiences, creativity, and knowledge to produce a short film that highlights an issue important to you and/or your community, from housing to food insecurity, health to policing, climate change to mental health, and more.

We encourage youth who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, someone with a disability, and/or someone from another marginalized community to apply. No previous video experience required—filmmaking training will be provided. Just bring a desire to learn, an interest in visual storytelling, and a drive to advocate for your community. We will partner with you to use your film to educate Texans, spur advocacy, and advance policy changes around your focus.


What might your film look like?:

Visit Youth FX
Visit Peace It Together
Register for our Masterclasses

Although one fellow will be selected, the Youth Voices Storytelling project will also train young Texans in effective storytelling techniques, including persuasive writing, digital advocacy, and public testimony so that fellows and participants can grow as strong advocates for themselves and their communities. We will provide access to pre-recorded masterclass sessions crafted by filmmaking and storytelling professionals. Any interested young advocate is welcome to access these resources at any time, free of charge, simply by reaching out to our team.

Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship Masterclass Topics:

  • Creating Your Own Production Company
  • Impact Producing
  • Film Festival Programming & How to Submit to Film Festivals
Program Overview and Expectations

The fellowship takes place from February through July 2022. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of the program will take place virtually. We are committed to working with our fellow to make sure they can complete their fellowship in a way that is safe for them, their families, and their communities. Applications must be completed by Wednesday, January 26. Learn more about the program and application process below. As noted above, young advocates and applicants who are not selected for the fellowship are welcome to complete masterclasses at their own pace.

The fellow receives:

  • a stipend of $500
  • necessary video and filming equipment (that will become yours!)
  • training and support from storytelling professionals
  • access to CDF’s wider network and resources
  • the opportunity to effect change in your community through your work

The fellow is expected to:

  • film, edit, and produce a short film (no more than 10 minutes) on a structural issue, rooted in your lived experience, with support from a professional filmmaker
  • attend weekly mentoring sessions, virtual workshops, or trainings
  • dedicate 1 to 5 hours weekly to the project
  • be comfortable sharing your story, name, voice, and likeness in your video and publicly

Application Requirements

  • must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and live in the Greater Houston area
  • must be willing to share your personal story to drive change on at least one key issue
  • must have reliable access to WiFi and the ability to attend virtual meetings via smart phone or computer
  • must submit all application materials by Wednesday, January 26

Preferred Qualifications

  • demonstrated experience or interest in community activism
  • demonstrated experience or interest in storytelling and/or filmmaking

If you’ve worked with video before or have experience with visual storytelling, we encourage you to provide a link to past projects in your application.


In addition to an application form, you’ll be required to answer the following

short-answer prompts (250-350 words or less each):

Prompt 1: Your Story

  • How have you, your family, and/or your community experienced structural societal issues in your day-to-day lives? That could include but isn’t limited to:
    • housing access
    • food insecurity
    • health or mental health care
    • policing or criminal justice
    • immigration
    • education
    • environment, such as climate change or pollution
    • sexual abuse or family violence
    • poverty or economic stability

Prompt 2: Your Short Film

As a Youth Voices Storytelling Fellow, you’ll receive professional support through every stage of the project. These questions are designed to learn about your goals, your unique perspective, and how we can best support you. 

  • From Prompt 1, what part of your story do you plan to focus on for this project?
  • What excites you about the possibilities of visual storytelling and filmmaking as tools for telling your story?
  • What change do you hope to inspire with your film?

If you have specific ideas for a short film in mind already, we welcome you to share them here.

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