December 21, 2016

Teen-produced Videos Reveal Reality of Youth Homelessness in Atlanta and Creates Community

The face of homelessness in Atlanta is a child; the average age is only 9 years old. Media production nonprofit, re:imagine/ATL, partnered with Grady High School film students,11Alive, FOCUS Brands, and Atlanta Mission to create several short videos highlighting the issue of youth homelessness.

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Over the course of re:imagine/ATL’s 10-week program, students learned about homelessness from their nonprofit client, Atlanta Mission, and worked with FOCUS Brands marketing professionals to get hands-on production experience. With financial support from program sponsors 11Alive and FOCUS Brands, financially supported the program and directly engaged with students in the classroom. Volunteers provided feedback throughout the film production process, giving students real-life experience with business professionals. The special guests from 11Alive, FOCUS Brands, and Atlanta Mission became part of a unique community of support for youth participants.

re:imagine/ATL and Grady students led a “Final Showcase Film & Social Justice” event at the conclusion of the program in early December at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Over 80 community members were in attendance. The event raised awareness and also directly served the community. Attendees were encouraged to donate and bring supplies for youth and to purchase a ColorATL book. For each book sold at the event, a book was donated to youth facing hardship.

During the Final Showcase students and volunteers from 11Alive and FOCUS Brands shared their experience and highlights of the program. Attendees also participated in a community dialogue about contributing factors to homelessness and how to get involved through civic engagement and service. Malika Whitley, founder and CEO of nonprofit, ChopArt, spoke about her personal experience of being homeless and her work with youth around the globe.

In addition to the student’s film screening, Dale Adams’ One Night virtual reality demonstration helped guests experience what it’s like to be homeless in Atlanta through 360 technology. A special screening of the full-length documentary, The Homestretch, which follows three homeless teens, closed out the event.

The Final Showcase brought together a diverse audience to support the student’s film project and to directly support youth experiencing hardship. re:imagine/ATL’s in-school film program and work in the community would not be possible without the support from 11Alive and FOCUS Brands. Next year

re:imagine/ATL is expanding the program to high schools throughout the city and is currently looking for corporate sponsors for different schools. Please contact Program Director, Julie Foster-Straw,, for more information.

December 5, 2016

The premiere event showcasing the work of these outstanding students and the inspirational message has finally come together! Join us for an for an evening of film and social justice as the students of Grady High School host an open discussion about youth homelessness in Atlanta on Tuesday Dec 6 at the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Over the past few months, teens at Grady High School have been working hard on PSAs that shine a light on the issue of youth homelessness. This evening will be led by Malika Whitley, Founder of ChopArt, a non-profit organization helping homeless youth express themselves through art.

November 28, 2016

11Alive and Atlanta & Company welcome the students for a sneak peek of their PSAs and chat about the collaboration on the project with host Christina Pullara.

November 17, 2016

The logos are completed and videos are being edited. Projects are coming along perfectly! What an amazing group of students working hard to deliver an inspirational message!

Here is P4P (People for People) working hard on their PSA video.

November 3, 2016

A day of fun with Grady High School media students!

October 22, 2016

Focus Brand joins 11Alive for Make a Difference Day as part of the awareness for homeless project.

October 5, 2016

Grady High School students have reached Phase II of the homeless awareness project. The students dig deeper into the project by preparing their pitch video for the 11Alive Team.

The journey to bring light to this matter continues...

re:imagine/ATL announces that re:imagine/COMMUNITY, an in-school film career development program, launched at 11Alive studios on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The program equips high school students with technical skills to produce an original video for a corporate and nonprofit client about an important social issue affecting Atlanta.

11Alive and FOCUS Brands teamed up for the first-of-its-kind program by supporting Grady High School film students’ production of creative videos for Atlanta Mission regarding homelessness.

Thaddeus X. Roberts, Grady’s videography teacher, will lead the students through the 10-week program. Roberts was eager partner with re:imagine/ATL to bring the program to his students because he knew it would open up new opportunities for their future.

Program sponsors, 11Alive and FOCUS Brands, financially support the program and directly engage with students in the classroom. Volunteers will provide feedback throughout the film production process, giving students real-life experience with business professionals. Special guests from 11Alive, FOCUS Brands, Atlanta Mission, and local film studios will expose students to different careers and share their expertise in these areas to help develop storytelling techniques and top-quality videos.

“Being an active member of the communities in which we live and work is one of FOCUS Brands’ core values, and our culture of service is rooted in the strong passions and capabilities of our associates,” said Bob Swan, Chief Human Resources Officer at FOCUS Brands. “With our focus on supporting the wellbeing of children and promoting community vitality, the partnership with 11Alive and re:imagine/ATL made perfect sense, and we are proud to harness our talents and resources in support of this important cause as we collectively help fill the gaps created by the cultural and societal weaknesses that are leaving our children victims.”

re:imagine/COMMUNITY’s official kickoff event was held at 11Alive studios in Atlanta on September 6. Students learned about their clients, 11Alive, FOCUS Brands and Atlanta Mission, and discussed the importance of using this video to reach the community. 11Alive President and General Manager John Deushane, passionately shared about the power of storytelling and ending homelessness in Atlanta.

“11Alive is excited to partner with FOCUS Brands in support of re:imagine/ATL, Atlanta Mission, and video students from Grady High School to dynamically address the issue of homelessness,” said Deushane. “The shock of learning the average age for homeless people in our community is 9 years old was the catalyst to take action to approach the problem differently. This creative collaboration is an opportunity to empower and engage others around this critical issue and to offer assistance and hope to those who so desperately need it.”

Marketing experts from FOCUS Brands shared social media strategies and tips for students to promote their message. Atlanta Mission provided important background information about homelessness in Atlanta.

During the kick-off, students took a behind-the-scenes tour of the studio and were in the audience for the live recording of Atlanta & Company. re:imagine/ATL Executive Director Susanna Spiccia, and Program Director Julie Foster-Straw were interviewed by Christine Pullara Newton, host of Atlanta & Company, about the program and partnerships involved to make this possible for students.

Students in the re:imagine/COMMUNITY program will strengthen their video production skills and grow in empathy as they develop the videos about homelessness.

re:imagine/ATL is expanding the program to five high schools in January and is currently looking for corporate sponsors different schools next semester. Please contact Program Director, Julie Foster-Straw,, for more information.