In our first workshop the youth were introduced to the art of storytelling through listening and viewing several stories. Together we generated a list of common elements in digital stories and discuss what made them compelling. After viewing sample stories, the youth had a Skype conference with Marlene Montanez, a community organizer in California. Ms. Montanez shared her immigration testimonio, or story, with the youth. She explain that her organization, the L.A. Federation of Labor, uses testimonio to humanize and personalize their experiences to build support for their cause. Specifically, she shared how they used their stories at rallies and in front of lawmakers.
Afterwards we invited them to reflect upon the issues and ideas that are most important to them for their own stories. As an entry point, we created "About Me" collages. Afterwards, each young person shared their collages through which stories that are important to them began to emerge.