Thursday, April 9, 2009

Matthew 6:21

Tim Tebow visits Prime Time

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:21

"First and 15" is a philanthropy that was developed last year by three UF students. The event includes a spring powder puff football tournament in the days leading up to the UF Orange & Blue Debut football game. The tournament raises awareness and money for two causes- the Pediatric Oncology patients at Gainesville's Shands Hospital and the orphans housed at Uncle Dick's Home in the Philippines.
Firstand15 website

Uncle Dick's Home was founded in 1991 by missionary Bob Tebow. Today the orphanage has over 50 orphans and Mr. Tebow continues his twenty-four year ministry in the Philippines.
All the Tebow children have been involved in the summer mission trips to the Philippines, including the University of Florida starting quarterback Tim Tebow.

Uncle Dick's website

I was asked to put together a documentary of Tim's latest spring break trip to the Philippines, (from March 8-March 14). It will be featured next week, (the week of "First and 15"), at two of the philanthropy's events.

God put this project on my lap, and I could not have prayed for a better blessing. I was given six tapes of footage that Tim and his friend David shot over the course of their trip. I had no idea what I was about to watch...

Inside my little editing-cave, I cried and laughed, I was inspired, angered, and motivated. What great stories these orphans had to tell. They just needed someone to listen. Their joy and love for life despite their dark and lonely past is amazing. The wheels were set in motion and I began piecing together a story.

I'm almost done with the final product, but I still have a lot of work to do before its perfect. For the past three weeks, I haven't been able to think about anything but this video. Images of these children's faces run through my mind, and I want to give them the voice they never had. I want this video to touch people's hearts, change their lives in some way that they are inspired to make a difference.

I needed some images showing how First and 15 is impacting our local community. So this past Sunday, I brought the creators of First and 15, (Tim, David, and Ryan) and my video camera to the East part of town, where we stopped at Prime Time, an after-school program that serves at-risk children.

I've been volunteering with Prime Time for the past three years. Over the summer I directed a Summer Vacation Bible School. Working with the kids has opened my eyes to reality, the truth about what goes on in our backyard. These kids are broken down from physical and verbal abuse, neglect, and poverty. They have no guidance, no encouragement, no love.

If I ever have a bad day, going to Prime Time makes me forget what I'm upset about. Walking in the room and having ten kids run up to give me a hug; their excitement and joy because I'm a familiar face that cared enough to come back. Words can't express the feeling that touches my heart every time I'm with these kids.

As I was writing my story, I took a break and opened my bible. Without a chapter in mind, I began reading the top of one page.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"
Matthew 6:21

The story of one football star's journey to save the forgotten children of the Philippines has no better opening. The six tapes of raw footage show young children holding onto the ever-fading hope of tomorrow. But the tapes also show a man's true colors, how his heart beats not for football, but for something far greater, his treasures at the end of the world.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Second Place!!

The winners for the 2009 Florida AP College Contest were announced this past Saturday, at the annual AP event in Orlando. I couldn't go, (tickets cost an arm and a leg, plus I had a lot of homework). Two of my stories did end up placing. 

SPJ Article 
I won second place for my "Sand Wars" feature, (Patrick Fleming was the photographer). 

AND ....

I placed second for my spot-news "School Bus Crash" story. I produced the entire piece- from filming and reporting, to editing. 

Here are my award-winning masterpieces... 

(Ok, that was super corny...but then again, it's 2 AM, and I'm blogging. I really need to lay off the coffee). 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"For ABC News on Campus..."

During Black History Month I was asked to attend a gala celebrating 50 years of Integration at the University of Florida.  I did a package on the event and ABC posted my story today.  Check it out. The slug is, "UF Honors Trailblazers"

My Story on ABC News!