CDF-TX Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship

The Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship is an opportunity for young Texans to use their experiences, creativity, and knowledge to produce a short film that highlights an issue important to them and/or their communities, from housing to food insecurity, health to policing, climate change to mental health, and more.

Power in Voting

Follow my journey into becoming an activist for voter rights and learn how you can become an activist within your school.

David Dzul

Pronouns: He/Him 

Age: 18 

About David: A defender of others, David advocates for his community and peers. As part of his advocacy, David often shares his civic education experiences, particularly from the perspective of a first-generation student and civic catalyst. In his free time, David loves to drink boba and jam out to the best music available.

Conversations About Home

Filmmaker Delina Yosief gives insight into the stigmatized issue of mental health in an immigrant household. Through storytelling, the film shows 2 generations of women in an Eritrean family who talk about their mental health struggles, immigration stories, loss, and grief through it all.

Delina Yosief

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Age: 23

About Delina: Delina Yosief is a young, emerging professional pursuing her master’s degree in public health. She has a background in advocacy, communications, public health, and organizing in the Austin and Houston area. She is involved in a number of organizations that work on strengthening systems and institutions, as well as getting access to resources for vulnerable populations. Delina spends her free time researching, reading, and having a good cup of coffee.

This fellowship would not have been possible without the mentorship of filmmaker Glenys Quick and support from the Center for Civic Leadership at RICE University.

About Glenys

Glenys Quick is a New Zealand-born photographer, filmmaker, and educator living in Dallas, TX. Working with young people in photography, creative writing, journalism, and filmmaking, Glenys recognizes the empowering nature of storytelling and its potential for positive social change. She knows, however, that real change will only happen if all youth, regardless of race, income, and immigration status, learn the tools and language of storytelling to share their experiences.

Register for our Masterclasses

Although the application period is closed, the Youth Voices Storytelling project also trains young Texans in effective storytelling techniques, including persuasive writing, digital advocacy, and public testimony so that fellows and participants can grow as strong advocates for themselves and their communities. We have access to pre-recorded masterclass sessions crafted by filmmaking and storytelling professionals.

Any interested young advocate is welcome to access these resources at any time, free of charge, simply by reaching out to our team.

Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship Masterclass Topics:

  • Creating Your Own Production Company
  • Impact Producing
  • Film Festival Programming & How to Submit to Film Festivals

Program overview and expectations

The fellowship takes place throughout one semester, and due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of the program takes place virtually. We are committed to working with our fellow to make sure they can complete their fellowship in a way that is safe for them, their families, and their communities. As noted above, young advocates and applicants who were not selected for the fellowship are welcome to complete masterclasses at their own pace.

Learn more about the program below.

The fellow receives:

  • a stipend of $500
  • necessary video and filming equipment (that will become yours!)
  • training and support from storytelling professionals
  • access to CDF’s wider network and resources
  • the opportunity to effect change in your community through your work

The fellow is expected to:

  • film, edit, and produce a short film (no more than 10 minutes) on a structural issue, rooted in your lived experience, with support from a professional filmmaker
  • attend weekly mentoring sessions, virtual workshops, or trainings
  • dedicate 1 to 5 hours weekly to the project
  • be comfortable sharing your story, name, voice, and likeness in your video and publicly

Application Requirements

  • must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and live in the Greater Houston area
  • must be willing to share your personal story to drive change on at least one key issue
  • must have reliable access to WiFi and the ability to attend virtual meetings via smart phone or computer

Preferred Qualifications

  • demonstrated experience or interest in community activism
  • demonstrated experience or interest in storytelling and/or filmmaking

If you’ve worked with video before or have experience with visual storytelling, we encourage you to provide a link to past projects in your application.

Applications are currently closed. Keep an eye on this page for future application information!