2021 Volunteer Shoutouts: Jo Appogast and Kaela Noik


Jo Appogast is well-known throughout the Media Center’s staff as one of our most active volunteers — an unofficial title she’s held since she began working with us in the summer of 2015. Within the past few weeks, she helped us with our Open House, PSA Day, and Halloween Screening. She described her experience with us, and what the ideal volunteer experience should be, as application.

“We call it application. Everything here is hands-on application,” she explained in her interview. “Everyone gets a chance, a great opportunity, to come in and…learn and get things done.” She said her favorite part of volunteering with us, aside from meeting great communities and great people, was that everybody does something crazy here. Moreover, she said she’s excited for how mobile we are becoming as we begin to increase the use of our Mobile Production Truck and invest in gimbles. “I’m looking forward to going out and really talking to our community, what’s really going on and their feelings about everything, especially post-COVID…so we can make a change for the better for our community.”

At our Open House event, Jo said that she missed when our building was flooded with volunteers. We asked her why people should volunteer at Midpen Media.

“It’s a great way to meet your community and do a public service of getting the word out on different topics here in the area. It’s all local, and everything that needs to be discussed could be right here.” She also explained that there’s a “great possibility” of becoming a producer. “If you have an idea about Palo Alto, and you want to change things, you can be a producer.”

Kaela Noik is one of our newest volunteers, as well as one of the most excited. She’s been working with cameras for a long time, and now that she’s in college, she’s happy to take part in an organization that gives her something to do outside of school. “And working with great people is a nice bonus,” she stated.

Thus far, she’s described her experiences with Midpen Media as “all great.” She began helping out immediately upon finding out about Midpen Media and explained that it’s very easy to get involved. “Just sign up for a class, take the class, and you can work the next day. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, it’s very easy to start.” She further pitched that other people should volunteer because “it’s really fun and you can do stuff that you’re passionate about, and get the word out on topics you feel are important.” Many learning experiences are theoretical — reading textbooks and putting yourself in the shoes of hypothetical situations. “That’s why I like film and media; it’s very hands-on.” We follow that principle of media, encouraging volunteers to get their hands on a camera from the get-go.

“Finding this place has been really great. It’s something to look forward to, coming out and talking to people.” Kaela’s specifically looking forward to using the gimble, she explained.

Interested in volunteering with us? Email Emily@midpenmedia.org, join our Discord Server, or just take a class! We’d love to have you join us!