Hear Me 101 is a series of hands-on workshops that develops writing, technical, communication and media literacy
skills in youth. Hear Me 101 is a year-long program based in schools, piloted in 2011-2012. Students create short documentaries
from concept to final cut.
The goal is to guide students to professionally express their thoughts and opinions on their communities and their education
and to bring valuable youth voices to education and community decision makers. The in and out of school workshops focus on
topics from Media Literacy to Video Production and Project Screenings.
Hear Me 101 is programmed by a group of professional organizations dedicated to producing and promoting youth voice to inspire social change:
Hear Me 101 serves as a vehicle for students to explore their surroundings, provides a safe space to ask questions, and gives students a legitimate forum for sharing the answers they find.
Hear Me 101 allows students to explore topics relevant to their lives that typically fall outside of the scope of topics covered in school curriculum. Participants identify an issue they
would like to explore and work with a team to develop and produce a short documentary. Students have the opportunity to learn about their school and communities and meet with adults who help
students dig deeper into their topics.
The Hear Me 101 internship program is designed to acknowledge that youth-produced documentaries, as process-oriented group projects that harness the power of youth voice, are really a tool for
a bigger message. Interns are trained to recognize the documentary as a tool for conveying a message, then engage in creating a campaign around the message of their own film.
The Summer Interns leverage student voices from their schools and networks to demonstrate agency by creating a capstone project in line with their documentary’s message.
Interns are paid at 15 hours/week for 6 weeks, with bus passes provided.
The goals of Hear Me 101's internship program are to:
Connect the films messages to stakeholders
Develop confident and civically engaged youth as part of an effort to support youth-led educational or community change in our region
Provide a network of mentors and supporters for youth
The outcomes of Hear Me 101's internship program are that youth:
Identify themselves as change-agents
Assume leadership roles
Collaborate for change
Build relationships with adults in power positions
Demonstrate respect for and a commitment to their schools/communities
Examine their environments by employing critical thinking and problem-solving
Intern deliverables include: Film one-sheet, poster, film summary, stakeholder matrix with plan to engage specific stakeholders/decision-makers, social media marketing strategy,
press releases, all as part of a capstone project (which could be a screening or other event).
The internship is exclusively open to youth who have completed a Hear Me 101 project in the Hear Me 101 partner schools: McKeesport Area High School, Clairton High School,
and Steel Valley High School. Students apply in the late spring and are selected by a committee.
Candidates must demonstrate a passion for their film's message, and are not necessarily selected for GPA or grades.
2014 Interns, Jeff, Channing, Juanita, and Denis, brainstorm their stakeholder matrices by asking, "Who has the most interest and power over our message?"
2014 Intern Stories
Juanita: "Teens & Depression"
Juanita's filmmaking group identified teen mental health as a major issue that they wanted to destigmatize. Juanita developed a screening and presentation to bring to youth mental health caregivers and expects to deliver her first talk in Fall 2014.
View Juanita's presentation here.
Denis' group made a film that looks at how media interpreted data released by the state on school assessments, and made the claim that the assessment system doesn't represent schools and students as the complex communities that they are.
Denis published his work as an open blog post, sent to the PA Dept of Education, arguing that students should be assessed on more than standardized tests. Find it here.
Channing: "My Gravity"
Channing's film, "My Gravity", helped her sort through her anxiety approaching college recruitment for basketball, which echoes many of her peers' thoughts when weighing post-secondary education.
Channing wants to recreate the process of rising above obstacles and achieving self-determination for younger students in her school as part of an after-school program this fall.
Jeff: "Access Denied"
Jeff's group identified the lack of Internet access and technology in their small school as a major issue that they wanted to examine. Jeff recruited peers to commit to a student advisory council and presented a revised, student-informed technology policy to his school board.
2013 Intern Recap
The first Hear Me 101 interns piloted the program and made it their own. We are forever grateful for their hard work speaking out for change!
Brandon: "What's Worth Investing in in Steel Valley?
Brandon's goal was to join forces with business leaders, encourage investment, and raise legitimate support for the film. The students presented their work at the annual breakfast meeting of
the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone and later received a proclamation from the County for their efforts.
Sophia: "Wilkinsburg: The Way we See It"
Sophia's goal was to create buzz around efforts to green up and create green spaces in Wilkinsburg, PA. Sophia partnered with the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation to use the film
as a fundraising tool and to hold a community screening and discussion. She also talked about her project on local PBS affiliate WQED's Filmmaker's Corner.
Taylor: "Music in Our School, Heart, & Soul"
Taylor's group's video went viral, earning social media credit with VH1's Save the Music and more. The film also brought attention and booster dollars to her school's band, which helps to prove
to her school that music is worth saving.
JaLynn: "Late by Eight"
JaLynn's group's video reached social workers state-wide, was distributed by the local Intermediate Unit and national Attendance Awareness organizations featured it for their members.
Guidance counselors at her school, and schools throughout the region, use the film to talk with students about showing up.
Hear Me 101's 3rd year with McKeesport Area Technology Center,
Steel Valley Sr. High School, Clairton High School, and
F.U.S.E. (Wilkinsburg/Imani Christian Academy) is producing seven films that explore topics about bullying, technology and questions
about identity. Students are learning the technical skills necessary to produce a short documentary and identifying issues that are critical to student achievement. 101 students will
identify interview subjects, events and produce footage to explore their critical questions about their education and communities.
Steel Valley TFIM's film "#437" asks the questions, "What goes into school rankings in Pennsylvania?" and "How does this affect our school community?" Do not judge students by their test scores, instead by their characteristics.
Gravity: Social Media issues for teens
Footage shot by and featuring FUSE Pittsburgh youth from Wilkinsburg, PA. We care about the internet and how other kids use it. There are a lot of things wrong with the internet, and the worst is cyberbullying.
Channing - My Gravity
Students identified major obstacles that today's youth must overcome to be the successful people that they aspire to be. These obstacles, or gravity that holds them down, is explored in Channing's video about fear.
McKeesport Area High School Presents:
Teens, Depression, and Peer Pressure
Students at McKeesport Technology Center produced a film that asks, "how teens can survive depression and who can be subject to peer pressure?" We hope that there will be an understanding for people who suffer from mental illnesses, and that more people will be willing to help those who suffer to overcome their adversities. Our hope for the documentary is that less people will feel unappreciated, lonely, and pressured.
Essence of Hip-Hop
Essence of Hip-Hop asks whether our school represent our interests and looks at ways the formal educations like school can embrace hip-hop lifestyle. From McKeesport Technology Center at McKeesport HS, 2014.
Video Gaming in Education
Produced by students at McKeesport Technology Center, the documentary asks whether video games can be educational and argues that media reports on violence and video gaming are not true. Students like playing games, and we would like teachers to use them and know that they have educational benefits.
Clairton City High School Presents:
We Cannot Bear to Bully
From "REEL Clairton" at Clairton High School, PA, "We Cannot Bear to Bully" focuses on female bullying, and how females ages 12-14 bully each other. The film includes bullying experts, victims, past bullies, students, and teachers. WE are also giving tips on how to handle a bully. Through this film, our goal is to help stop bullying.
From "REEL Clairton" at Clairton High School, Access Denied deals with the control, advantages, and disadvantages of the use of technology in education. In this film, we focus on how the disadvantages of Internet access can limit a student's learning and learning experiences. We also focus on how technology can advance a student's learning. The film shows how the use of technology in Clairton High School should come to a change.
In its 2nd year, Hear Me 101 partnered with 4 groups in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region: Clairton City High School, McKeesport Area Technology Center at McKeesport High School,
Steel Valley Senior High School, and F.U.S.E. (Wilkinsburg). The students produced 11 films on topics that they self-selected and felt that their voices had been excluded:
Students from Clairton Education Center in Clairton, PA explore attendance problems in their school. Why are so many students late to school and why do they skip classes even when they come? Students look for a solution to improve attendance and raise awareness
Steel Valley Senior High School Presents:
What's worth investing in?
From TFIM (The Future is Mine) club at Steel Valley High School. "What's Worth Investing In?" focuses on the positive aspects of our community, asking viewers to consider Steel Valley as a place to invest because of our diversity, history, attractions, and positive people. We hope this documentary will give everyone a reason to believe in Steel Valley.
Wilkinsburg the Way We See It
This film advocates for the greening up and cleaning up of Wilkinsburg's image. Our goal is to inspire people, to instill hope in Wilkinsburg, PA and its youth, and to show others that we are proud of Wilkinsburg.
McKeesport Area High School Presents:
Collars and Khakis: "Dress Codes..."
McKeesport Area High School implemented a new, and much stricter, dress code this year, without asking for student input. We would like to rewrite the dress code since we believe this dress code restricts our self-expression and should have included students' opinions.
Our Future...2016: "Have a Say in Your Education"
Presented by Your Future Productions at McKeesport Area Technology Center. Our film explores the role of student voice in the academic curriculum at McKeesport Area High School. We believe that students should be able to structure their course schedule to best fit with their post-high school aspirations.
The Jeans: "McKeesport's New Dress Code: Does it Work for us?"
While we preferred our old dress code at McKeesport Area High School, we recognize that there are positive and negative effects of these new rules. We have suggestions for improving the dress code, including consistent enforcement and rewarding students who follow the dress code with more dress down days.
The Jocks: "Is Extracurricular Funding Equal?"
McKeesport Area Technology Center -- "The Jocks" present...This film discusses the inequalities in funding between extra-curricular activities at McKeesport Area High School, which we believe implies of a lack of support for certain sports and activities. We would like to see equal funding for all extra-curricular activities.
The Lunchables: "Are we learning to eat healthy?"
Presented by the Lunchables at McKeesport Area Technology Center. We believe that school food can be improved and that students deserve to have healthy and tasty options available as part of the provided school lunch.
The Lone Rangers: "Inside School Security"
Presented by the Lone Rangers at McKeesport Area Technology Center. Our documentary discusses our school security at McKeesport Area High School and if students and adults feel safe with our current level of security.
Team Tums: "School Lunch and Nutrition"
From McKeesport Area Technology Center, Team Tums presents... Healthier, more nutritious, and better tasting school lunch should be an important issue for everyone.
The Show Must go on Symphony: "Music in our Schools"
Presented by Showtime Studios at McKeesport Area Technology Center. Music programs keep children off the streets, giving them a reason to take their future into their own hands. Music programs are being cut from schools country-wide and being given less funding which devastates students. Supporting music programs helps students experience arts in a new way and gives them a background that will help them succeed in their life.
Hear Me 101 was piloted with 4 schools in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region: Clairton City High School, McKeesport Area High School, Steel Valley Senior High School, and Woodland Hills High School.
We thank the administration and boards for piloting this project with us.
Please watch their films!
Clairton City High School Presents:
Bleed Orange & Black
Clairton, PA is a small town, small community with great friendly people. We love Clairton - we are a family.
We explore three points that can make our family better: activities, safety, and funding. We want this video to get people
talking about the reputation of our town and school and come together to show our true colors.
McKeesport Area High School Presents:
The View of McKeesport's Reputation
"How do our communities' downfalls affect our school's reputation?"
Being that McKeesport has violence, it often affects how people look at our school. We want people to see our school how we do.
This will give outside viewers a look from the inside.
Who's Your Role Model?
Here in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, role models can be hard to find. Many students do not have role models, and when they do,
they sometimes choose the wrong kind.
Young men hang out in front of abandoned houses, bored and restless. We as students are very concerned about the lack of positive
role models in the media that we created this film in a search for answers.
Technology: Does it Make School Less Relevant?
Is High School still relevant today?
Students today worry that what they learn in school isn't necessary. This documentary asks the question "Does technology make school irrelevant?"
Does public school prepare students for college or the real world and exclude options for joining the workforce immediately following high school?
Steel Valley Senior High School Presents:
The Study of Success
Originally titled "Does Demography Determine Destiny?" this documentary asks, "What does success mean to you?"
The documentary took us in an unexpected direction that looks at the character of our neighborhoods, our neighbors, students and alumni.
Woodland Hills High School Presents:
Our documentary will open your eyes to the reality of the diverse and positive aspects of our school, which is shrouded by a negative reputation.
Woodland Hills students are faced with negative stereotypes and generalizations every day.
Student-Teacher Relationships: What Makes a Great Teacher?
This documentary will answer the question "What makes really good teachers at Woodland Hills?" To show our concerns about recent teacher cuts,
voiced by students, the goal is to get people to realize that WH is losing good teachers and that the students and school need to:
1) Appreciate the really good ones who are left.
2) Encourage great teaching throughout the school by showcasing talented teachers in action.