DeSoto Youth Attends The New York Times Summer Academy
As part of her love for film and photography, Amelie Ojeda is spending two weeks this summer in a city known for being photogenic.
Amelie, a homeschooled sophomore in DeSoto, left on July 16 to attend The New York Times Summer Academy for two weeks. She was selected for their fashion/photography/film program.
“This program will give me the chance to have hands-on experience, dive deeper into my passions, and help me think critically and creatively about my future career,” she said. “It will help reassure me that film and photography are truly my passions and something I want to continue to pursue in the future.
“It will help me put myself out there and not shy away from showing my work. I will also learn a lot of new skills and get to build amazing connections with my teachers, peers, and the professionals who come to lectures.”
Amelie has never been to any summer camps before. However, now that she has decided to attend one, she chose big in a city she loves.
Focusing On Art & Culture In The Big Apple
In the course, she will be going on field trips around New York City to focus on the art and culture in the city. She will also learn about the importance of art through fashion, photography, and film.
“While having field trips, we will also have scheduled classes every day of the week where our professors will teach us about different subjects regarding the course, as well as other social events to build relationships with people who share the same interests as you,” she said.
Amelie is no stranger to The Big Apple. She has visited a good friend she’s known since childhood who moved there a couple of years ago.
“I love visiting her and hanging out around the city with her. We go to the touristy places, but she also takes me to lesser-known areas,” she said. “I could go to New York a million times and would never get sick of it. It just feels like such a welcoming environment, and I can’t wait to explore more.”
Amelie has been exploring since she was around four years when she started making videos. They were mostly tutorials for various things like doing her makeup with candy or making her mom record her planting fruits and flowers in her grandmother’s garden in Puerto Rico.
Then she started making videos about her Littlest Pet Shop animal figurines. She would build sets for them, making school lockers out of toilet paper rolls with markers or computers/phones out of old cereal boxes, and she would use anything around the house to create items for them.
“I would create stories with dialogue and would act them out while filming on my tablet or my family members’ phones,” she recalled. “As I got older, I started making vlog-style videos, and when I was a tween, I would film a lot of makeup tutorials or GRWM’s (Get Ready With Me). I would find free editing programs and would try to figure them out.
“I started photography when I was in ninth grade, and that enhanced my filmmaking, and I started creating more documentary-style videos about nature and stuff like that.”
Reaching People Through Creative Expression
Amelie has expressed herself creatively throughout her life – by writing, drawing, playing the guitar, songwriting, photography, painting, filming, and dancing.
“I’m actually not sure what my greatest passion is yet. I have a lot of interests, but I know that my main goal with all of them is to reach people in some way,” she said. “I want people to gain something from what I create; I want them to laugh, cry, smile, be frustrated or angry, have every emotion, or just enjoy it for simple entertainment.
“I think art is one of the best parts of the human experience. It’s incredible that we as people are able to create art that make us feel heard or seen. I truly believe that art in any form is the most beautiful thing that sets us apart from every other species. That is why I am so grateful to have this opportunity to be able to explore the amazing world of possibilities that come with film, photography, music, art, fashion, and everything else.”
If you’d like to help Amelie with expenses, here is a link to her GoFundMe account.