"I learned the world's a big place... I got to truly experience the plurality of life experiences in a way that I hadn't prior to joining...”
Prior to Maven Youth, it was summer and I literally had nothing to do. I had just tried to get my first job but it didn’t go too well. So I talked to my counselor who recommended this program [with Hetrick-Martin Institute] and I thought that sounded pretty cool.. It’s about video games-- that's actually how she pitched it to me...That's really my first paid internship…
Well... it's gonna sound really cheesy, but I think I learned the world's kind of a big place... When you grow up in a big city, you sort of think the whole world revolves around you… The first time I ever flew on a plane was actually when I was going out to be a youth leader for Maven’s Austin camp... I saw New York City from the sky, and it [was] a strange experience because the city looked small, and it looked tiny, like a miniature playset or something... Then, going to Texas and seeing what it's like to actually be in the Western part of the country--any part of the country that's not the East Coast--was an experience for me... So I think I got to learn--truly appreciate--the diversity of experiences that people have, like I met people who are farmers. I never met people who are actually farmers before... so I just learned-- I got to truly experience I think even like the plurality of life experiences in a way that I hadn't prior to joining the program.
I actually got to see San Francisco for the retreats and that was pretty fun...that's the only time I've ever been to California.
Chris was part of the 2019 National Youth Council when he was able to fly to San Francisco for the leadership retreats.
I think the biggest lesson that any youth will learn once they've gone through this camp, once they understand the tech world and the way the world is changing, is that they have the ability to create change and to create the world they want to see, even though the world tells them they can't.
Chris has since led more camps and become a Camp Assistant Intern with Maven Youth. They currently hold another internship with Hetrick-Martin Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Film & Media from Fashion Institute of Technology. He strives to be a filmmaker, taking editing jobs on the side whenever possible.