Video: Camp is lens on college life for diverse teens

Video: Stars of the FutureAt first glance, this classroom looks pretty typical at UW-Green Bay. It’s the people inside that make it unique.

“I wanted to see what college was going to be like,” said Isaiah Ezemba, a soon-to-be eighth grader from Milwaukee. This is his first year at the Stars of the Future pre-college summer camp at UW-Green Bay.

Cynthia Rodriguez will be a freshman at Preble High School in Green Bay in the fall. She is at the camp for her third year.

“It’s really fun and it’s a good experience to come learn more about teamwork and you get to have a chance to have fun with your friends and meet new people,” Rodriguez said.

Mike Schmitt from UW-Green Bay’s media services office leads the two-week camp. The camp is funded in part through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. It gives students, especially students of color and bilingual students, hands-on experience in television production. Students study production techniques in the classroom, and then apply those techniques in the field. At the end of the camp, the students put together a finished video.

“It’s really awesome. They learn a lot of good things,” said camp assistant Jose Gamboa. He says students use a wide range of skills at the camp.

“We have different programs,” Gamboa said. “In the morning we have two classes which would be like using a camcorder, recording stuff and they have language arts, they read a book and do a couple things.”

The camp also gives teens a sneak peak at college life and teaches them to work as a team. Andrew Zuniga from Milwaukee has come to the camp for two years.

“I think this is an opportunity for me to learn what college is kind of like and I wanted to see some of the friends I knew from last year,” Zuniga said. He also says the team-building activities have really helped him.

“Before that I never really knew how to work as a team with people,” Zuniga said. “I usually argue with people a lot about what to do when I did group projects with my classmates and stuff.”

Now he’s collaborating with fellow students. When the camp wraps up, the students will have that video to remember their experience. But the goal is for them to develop skills that will last a lifetime.

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