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Teenage offenders turn their own troubles to videos

January 5, 2011

In the photo above, Anna Lookingbill, a resource coordinator with Juvenile Recovery Court, helps Crystal Cook, 19, a student at Summit View Alternative School, with her video project.

This digital storytelling project through the Juvenile Recovery Court looks like it would not be difficult to replicate in a community, youth center or similar juvenile court project. There is something to be said for the cathartic properties of writing and creating and making something meaningful from a variety of experiences.

Staff writer, Laura McVicker writes, “The words “My Life” appear across the screen, accompanied by a few notes of a rap song.

Snapshots of 18-year-old Dee Sample appear: There’s one of him in his elementary school years, smiling, followed by photos of him in his teen years, wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap and looking stone-faced.

In the three-minute documentary, narrated by the Mountain View High School student, Sample recounts growing up in the projects in South Carolina, hearing gunshots as he drifted to sleep.

“My heart is feeling colder,” he raps in the tape.

He talks about “getting caught having bags in my room” in high school and winding up in Clark County’s Juvenile Recovery Court.” More…

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