Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership
I've been volunteering with the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY) since 2008 in three different states and in many different roles. HOBY is an international leadership conference for high school sophomores. I went through the program in 2007 and it empowered me to pursue my dreams and improve my community. Every year since I have been blown away by the intelligence, talent, and passion in the young people around us. I have served most recently as the the speaker on societal leadership, in which I spoke about the power of story. In the past I've been the Director of Programs, a group facilitator, and photographer.
I am in pre-production for a short animated film called Tightly Wound, about my experience with vaginismus/ chronic pelvic pain. Tightly Wound is based on an essay that I wrote under the same name that will be published in Bust Magazine in October 2016. It's difficult being public about such an intimate, personal, and private part of my life, but I think it is so important to raise awareness about women's health problems and pelvic pain. I suffered in silence for many years, and I wish I could have found the information I know now to find treatment sooner and find narratives similar to mine to help me feel less alone.
Currently, I am teaching a documentary production course at the Austin School of Film, and in fall 2016, I will be teaching RTF 336K: Documentary Production at the University of Texas at Austin. I love helping people learn how to make and love documentaries. During my time as a graduate student in the MFA Film & Media Production program at UT Austin, I TA'd multiple documentary and producing classes under incredible filmmakers and isntructors including Paul Stekler, Scott Rice, and Deb Lewis - oh, and one of them involved Matthew McConaughey.
I'm a natural-born producer - I am organized, extremely Type-A, and I love scheduling, logistics, and creative problem solving. The best part of producing is building a collaborative team of creative artists and technicians to make something amazing. It's even better when you can do it with your friends and on projects you care about -as I was doing in this photo - field producing for Gretchen Stoeltje's feature documentary, Speak For Me, about the fight for reproductive rights in Texas.