Alyssa Corrales, a senior at San Andreas Continuation High School in Hollister, is not the typical teenager. The student and mother of one has overcome some difficulties in her life but that has not stopped her commitment to graduating. With the help of CMAP TV, she was able to share her story about the birth of the daughter, her relationship with her family and her future.
The video was created during an in-school workshop led by CMAP (the Community Media Access Partnership), a technology-oriented nonprofit that serves San Benito County and South Santa Clara County, with support from a Community Impact Grant from the Community Foundation for San Benito County.
“We thought that this video captured a couple of things: one is what some of the unique circumstances our alternative ed students are in when they come to our school, some of the obstacles that they have to overcome and so we thought that that was very, very powerful,” said San Andreas Continuation High Principal David Burke.
The program, brought forth by San Benito County Superintendent of Schools Krystal Lomanto, CMAP Program Director and Senior Producer Ian Slattery and Burke, is only in the pilot stage, so Burke hopes the program will continue.
“My goal is to see it grow and to have more participation," Burke said. "Perhaps offer internships to students and other opportunities in multimedia industries just beyond the scope of a couple of class periods a day or a week. As much as we appreciate that, we would certainly like to expand the program.”
“What we want to start to encourage at our site is a blended learning model where students have the access to a variety of learning modalities," Burke continued. "There’s a traditional learner or learning environment where it’s teacher-driven, there's project-based learning and there’s also learning that takes place around technology and we’re now in a new time and era where the antiquated model needs to be least partially replaced with things that are engaging to kids and are valuable when they seek careers later,” he said. “That’s where the relationship with CMAP comes in because they are at the forefront of some of that training of students and that some students then connect to the career option which is super important for a student like Alyssa, who's a 12th-grader, to catch on to something passionate like that.”
Corrales presented her video at the San Benito County Board of Education meeting on April 13. With her mother and daughter there for support, she explained how her video was conceptualized.
“It was part of my English class, we had a visitor, and he was showing us how to make movies on the computer and he gave us a topic. We had to choose from three different ones. Miine was a time that we regret,” she said.
While she clarified that she doesn’t regret having her daughter, Corrales said she instead regrets the tough times she went through during and after her pregnancy.
“It's about when I was pregnant and how difficult it was for me and how my family was very upset with me. But I overcame a lot,” she said.
Corrales will be graduating in May and will be continuing her education at Gavilan College.
“We appreciate the involvement of CMAP and of them coming to our school," Burke said. "It's those relationships that matter to our students and those resources that we don’t always have internally, so we are very grateful for them bringing it forth to us. I don’t know if our kids would have that option if not,” said Burke.
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