CLUB FOCUSES ON DREAMS

March 27, 2004 12:00 am
Jacob Fausett watches one of his short films with 3-year-old Exis Villavicencio, a family friend, as Fausett's mother and sister look on. ().
Jacob Fausett watches one of his short films with 3-year-old Exis Villavicencio, a family friend, as Fausett's mother and sister look on. ().

Pilot stories and photos

by Andrea Barkan

Tean catches eye of peers

When Jacob Fausett was 8, his mom put a camcorder in his hands.

Fausett, now 15, quickly started making mini movies – and hasn't stopped yet.

"He just started making movies left and right," mom Shelly Woods said.

Now he uses a Digital Blue digital camcorder to capture his slice-of-life vignettes.

Fausett's friends, family and pets wind up in many of his movies, which are usually about three to five minutes long.

"I make it more exciting by adding effects," he said.

He uses accompanying software to manipulate his material, adding graphics, sound and editing on his home computer.

Now Fausett wants to explore other cameras and software, and hopes the burgeoning Brookings-Harbor Youth Association Camera Club will help him do just that.

"I just want to experiment with everything," Fausett said. "I really want to create video games when I grow up."

Fausett and Dennis Knauert, an association board member, collaborated and came up with the idea for the camera club.

The association will hold sign-ups for the camera club and a girls junior tennis program from 10 a.m. to noon today (March 27) at Chetco Community Public Library.

Board Member Kathy Viola co-owns Photography Unplugged, one of the camera club's local sponsors.

"Right now, the imaging industry … is booming," Viola said.

She hopes the club will help youth develop photography and film-making skills.

The association has funding and the community has a need. What's missing is expertise, Viola said.

"We want the adults in the community to come forward," she said. "Whatever is your specialty, bring it forward and let's get a group of interested kids to educate."

Fausett is one example of a teen who, perhaps with guidance from an experienced adult, could take his creations to the next level.

"He could use a mentor," Woods said. "We were hoping there would be retired folks who've been in the industry … who would be interested in (educating) him."

Youngsters share hopes for community

An oversized "Teen Wish List" sits on a wall at the Brookings-Harbor High School library, filled with specific examples of how local teens want to expand their community.

"BMX track, swim team, batting cages, voice lessons, dance studio and nature club" are just a few of the wishes library tech Simmie Jones collected when she surveyed every English 9 class almost a month ago.

"Every one of these is their idea," Jones said about the list.

Jones shared the survey with Brookings-Harbor Youth Association board members, who are gathering input from youth about clubs and programs they'd like to see start up in Brookings-Harbor.

"They want this to be a kid oriented thing," Jones said of association board members.

Jones said it became obvious at a recent meeting that the best way to know what kids want is to ask them.

So she made the survey available in the school library and took it into ninth-grade English classes.

Scott Jones, association board president, said Alternative Youth Activities students completed the same survey. Their interests were consistent with Brookings-Harbor High students, he said.

Simmie Jones, who is also the junior class advisor, encouraged students to get involved with the association.

"If you really want this to happen, come to the meetings," Jones told students.

"Show them your passion, show them your excitement, present your case," she said.

An outdoor paintball course got the most wishes. A swim team also elicited interest.

"One of the girls is really passionate about all-year basketball," Jones said.

Jones raised three of her five children in Brookings-Harbor, and knows from experience that local youth need more extracurricular opportunities.

"For a long time, the big thing was to go up river and party," she said.

"I want them to have some other options," Jones said.

She said getting community members involved is paramount to making the wishes come to life.

"We desperately need the community involved in this," Jones said. "If everybody contributes something … then it can be done."

Board member Bill Ferry said exposing a child to a particular hobby or occupation could open doors to a world they might not discover otherwise.

"It's one more opportunity to open their eyes to what might be out there in the world," Ferry said.

It takes experienced people to open those doors.

Besides, he added, long ago somebody taught today's teachers what they now know.

"With so many paths to take, they had to have somebody light a spark," Ferry said.

"If we don't give back what we were given then it's lost," he said.

To contact Brookings-Harbor Youth Association, call (541) 661-2992.