PGCC Digital Storytelling Camp Introduces Middle School Students to Careers in Mass Communication

Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release


PGCC Digital Storytelling Camp Introduces
Middle School Students to Careers in Mass Communication


LARGO, Md. (July 27, 2018) – Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) Digital Storytelling Camp gave middle school students from Prince George’s County the opportunity to learn about careers in mass communication. The two-week camp is offered in collaboration with PGCC’s academic and enrichment summer camp program and taught by Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) resident filmmaker, Miriam Machado.

Ms. Machado is an Emmy-Award winning documentary filmmaker who has worked closely with PGCC TV Senior Producer Angela Mathis for more than 16 years. She is passionate about utilizing filmmaking as a learning and teaching tool and has 17 film credits working with different classrooms in PGCPS.

As the instructor for the Digital Storytelling Camp, she helped campers find and hone their voice in addition to discover and increase knowledge about prospective careers. “I honestly believe that our kids need to know how to communicate with digital media and learn how to find their voice and tell their stories,” she said.

During the program, students had the opportunity to engage in a studio production where they participate in various roles, including anchors, audio mixers, reporters, prompter controller, green screen controller, and camera person. The PGCC TV team assisted with this activity, which teaches the students about teamwork and what it takes to make an entire production successful.

One camper, Naira Wiley, really enjoyed the studio production activity. “I think it was really fun [be]cause we get to experience what people do when you’re on live TV.” Nothing overwhelmed her during the assignment, although this was her first introduction to working in a newsroom.

Ms. Machado worked closely with the students to help them build the confidence that they need to be excellent digital communicators. “She definitely helps us every step of the way,” said Ms. Wiley.

“She helped me a lot [with] writing my script and she seems like she knows what she’s talking about,” said another camper, Daryl Nicholas, who enjoyed getting to interact with the studio gear and equipment the most. “It was interesting seeing people in there working the cameras and acting, and how the green screen works,” he said.

In addition to the studio production, students also had a chance to work on a more personal project while in the camp. With the help of Ms. Machado, the students created their own short films about a topic that interests them.

Mr. Nicholas chose to create his film about exercise because he wants to play Major League Baseball one day. Ms. Wiley, a self-proclaimed theater geek, chose to create her film about Hamilton. Both films are an example of how digital storytelling can be used to discuss a variety of topics to varying audiences.

Friday, July 27, 2018, the students presented their short films to campers, instructors, and parents. Ms. Machado hopes that they walk away from the camp feeling inspired to trust themselves and the stories they’re telling because she believes “they can change the world by telling their stories.”

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.