Pictured: (back row l. to r.): Christian Ochoa-Diaz, Anthony Price, Christian Arrieta, Jake Marturella-Jaramillo; (front row, l. to r.): Paul Demonte, Jamila Lontoc, Maeve Dupree, Kristin Gorecki, Lola Rivera.
This past February, students from New York Tech’s communication arts program premiered their short film promoting the Collegiate Congresses’ #Iamwithyou campaign for mental health at a special United Nations event.
The eight students began their work in the fall of 2019, after being connected to Christo Thomas, founder/chairman of the Collegiate Congress, by Luzia Ogureck, M.A., associate director of experiential education. The film, which featured interviews with several U.N. ambassadors, was directed by Christian Ochoa-Diaz, a junior majoring in digital film and TV production.
“During the project, the most challenging task to tackle was complying with everyone’s schedules and setting up the days to shoot,” admitted Ochoa-Diaz. “About five to six days of filming occurred throughout the project and everyone’s schedules were completely different.”
“Working with Christo was a great opportunity for the students to take their filmmaking skills learned in communication arts and apply it to the #Iamwithyou project,” said Paul Demonte, M.A., the adjunct instructor who advised on the film. “I was so happy to see how well the team of students collaborated on this project.”
Adds Ochoa-Diaz, “Filming such an important project for the U.N. with my classmates has been the best learning experience ever!”
The #Iamwithyou campaign seeks to raise awareness and provide resources to young people around the world fighting the stigma of mental illness. It is part of the Master Plan, an effort designed by the Collegiate Congress, a student advocacy organization made up of elected student leaders of universities and colleges in New York, to promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being.
The other students who took part in the project included Anthony Price, Christian Arrieta, Jake Marturella-Jaramillo, Jamila Lontoc, Maeve Dupree, Kristin Gorecki, and Lola Rivera.