By Giana Borgo
The Media Center is currently hosting 15 summer interns; however, this number is continuing to grow each week. We youth hope to gain valuable career experience in video production plus increase our office skills. Some things we get to do here include helping facilitate summer programs going on at the center–for example, editing classes, sports broadcasting camp, live Television shows, and much more. We have also been gaining office experience by working in the tape inventory room, organizing and creating files, and exploring the field of journalism. Here’s a “snapshot” of our current crew:
Tonnia Allen is a 15-year-old incoming Sophomore at Menlo Atherton High School. Tonnia enjoys listening to and watching K-Pop. She is currently studying Korean and is striving to become fluent in the language. Tonnia hopes to travel to Korea in the near future and explore the culture. She hopes to move to Korea with her close friend Frances and become an English teacher for young children.
Giana Borgo is a 16-year-old, lifelong resident of East Palo Alto. In the fall she will be a Senior at Summit Preparatory Charter High School. Giana has a passion for filmmaking and came to the Media Center through the Sponsored Employment Program (SEP) to deepen her exploration of film. In her free time, Giana likes to sing, play the ukulele, write and produce short films, and dance. Giana has traveled to Costa Rica where she built a recycling center for locals in Providencia de Dota, and will be traveling to Jaipur, India this summer to teach young English and Math.
Lineni Fonua is 17-years-old and recently graduated from East Palo Alto High. This fall she will be attending Georgia Tech in Atlanta, majoring in Neuroscience. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Lineni moved to East Palo Alto when she was in the 5th grade. Lineni enjoys reading, writing, singing, and watching Fifth Harmony videos. She hopes to gain further knowledge about film through interning at the Media Center so she can then use new skills to start a YouTube channel for herself.
Maria Guadalupe Vazquez is 19-years-old and will be entering her sophomore year at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). At UCSB, Maria is double majoring in Sociology and Political Science. Maria came to the Media Center through the Dream Summer Program. The Dream Summer Program is an empowering youth program for undocumented students that is spread throughout the country. In her free time, Maria loves to play soccer and listen to R&B and Hip Hop. Justice Sotomayor has been a big inspiration to Maria for many years. Justice Sotomayor, the first Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Hispanic heritage, has inspired Maria to believe that following your dreams and working hard can get you anywhere no matter what your background may be.
Samain Henderson is a 16-year-old resident of East Palo Alto. She is an incoming junior at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. Samain heard about and was brought to the Media Center through the Sponsored Employment Program (SEP.) This program allows youth to explore different fields of work during the summer. Samain enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Hannah Illathu is a 17-year-old who is going to be a Senior this fall at Gunn High School. In her free time, Hannah loves filming, reading, listening to music, and swimming. Hannah has a passion for all aspects of film. She heard about the Media Center through a friend who was a past Media Center intern and quickly followed in her footsteps. Hannah had her first experience with high-end filming when she was able to work a camera for one of the Media Center’s live shows!
Carla Kong is a 15-year-old incoming sophomore at Gunn High School. Carla enjoys playing volleyball, volunteering, and participating in her her school’s Class Council. She also is a diverse musician who enjoys playing the guitar, ukulele, and piano. In her spare time Carla also loves to bake. Carla was introduced to the Media Center through school last year when she and a few of her friends participated in a film festival the Media Center was running. She and her friends actually won the film fest and Carla soon found herself at the Media Center learning more about film.
Kalene Lacey is a 19-year-old who was born and raised in East Palo Alto. Kalene will be going into her sophomore year at College of San Mateo in the fall, where she will study nursing. Kalene hopes to one day be a labor and delivery nurse.
Sam Lee is 17-years-old and is going to be a Senior at Palo Alto High School in the fall. Sam experienced a lot of moving throughout his childhood. Born in South Korea, Sam moved to California, then New York, to Arizona, and back to California where he currently resides in Palo Alto. In his free time he loves to play basketball and listen to Hip Hop and R&B music. He also has a great passion for journalism. Sam started interning here two summers ago because he wanted to gain more experience in the fields of film and television.
Frances Lopez is a 14 year old who grew up in San Mateo but soon moved to Menlo Park. She will be a sophomore at Menlo Atherton High School this fall. Frances learned about the Media Center through the Sponsored Employment Program (SEP). Frances loves to listen to music by her idols Fifth Harmony and Selena Gomez. In her future, Frances hopes to one day move to Korea with her friend Tonnia and teach English to young children.
Clarissa Vokt is a 19-year-old, incoming Sophomore at Chapman University in Orange County. At Chapman, Clarissa studies both Screenwriting and English Literature. Clarissa was born and raised in San Jose. In her free time she likes to read, write, and watch movies. Clarissa came to the Media Center in order to gain further experience in film production. She hopes to one day be able to write, direct, and produce her own films.
Lupe Maafu is an 18-year-old incoming freshman at UC Davis. In the fall Lupe will be majoring in Psychology at UC Davis. Lupe is a diverse athlete who has played sports such as volleyball, basketball, and soccer. She believes family time is very important and loves spending her free time with her family. Lupe found the Media Center through the Sponsored Employment Program and hopes to gain not just film experience but office work experience.
Miguel Moreno is a 15-year-old who will be a Junior at Palo Alto High School. He enjoys playing badminton, soccer and hanging out with friends. Miguel really dislikes boba tea. His favorite class subject is Chemistry. Miguel has been into film making ever since he took video production classes in 8th and 9th grade. He learned about the Media Center through the Sponsored Employment Program (SEP) last summer. Miguel so loved his summer experience at the Media Center that he continued interning throughout his past school year.
James Chang-Davidson is a 15-year-old incoming Sophomore at Gunn High School. He has a passion for filmmaking and loves producing professional-event videos. James actually built his own drone. He heard about the Media Center about 4-5 years ago in middle school when a summer school teacher told him about it. He then took two studio classes and volunteered on some shows. He’s been interning at the Media Center for quite a while now and helps teach classes.
If you happen to stop by the Midpen Media Center this summer and see any of us interns, introduce yourself and say “hello.” We appreciate having the opportunity to be a part of this community, and hope in turn to contribute something meaningful during our time here.