In August 2016, we worked with youth from the NOISE Project and supported them in developing single-photo Digital Stories about the issues that matter to them. Youth participants wrote, crafted and edited their stories with the intention of speaking their truth, and finding common ground with those who may watch their videos.

For over six years, we have been using Digital Storytelling as a tool to engage the community in a meaningful way. The process involves storytelling circles, script-writing, story-boarding, taking photographs and finding imagery, recording narration, using video editing tools, and screening the final videos.

But creating a Digital Story is more than just making a video - it is the opportunity to tell your unique story, in your own words. The result is often very cathartic, and can help individuals deal with a wide range of experiences, from depression, to life in a refugee camp, to growing up LGBTQ. Sharing these stories can bring these issues to light, and establishes touch points that can connect community members with one another.

The New Opportunities for Innovative Student Engagement (NOISE) project is "a research-informed model for enhancing the academic success of youth from the Jane/Finch community and York University Social Work students through engaged learning opportunities that energize and support their civic engagement and psycho-social well-being."

Working with the NOISE project provided a great opportunity to expand the scope of output from our Digital Storytelling process. The youth storytellers covered a wide range of topics - from finding inspiration, to playing basketball, to joining the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ultimately, it is our hope that these stories impact and change how youth issues are discussed. Watch them below: 

Watch more of our Digital Stories on our Youtube channel.