‘Star Power’ program exposes young students to the world of media production, inspires possible career paths


PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – “Star Power is an opportunity for young people to have the fun that folks in television have everyday,” Buerkle said.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Star Power program looks to create ‘stars’ on and off screen, hoping to spark a fire in students for a career in television. “When it comes to Star Power, it’s that first phase of finding out what young students are interested in,” Star Power Program Instructor Leon Lewis said.

“These are 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. Now is the time for them to start to think about ‘Am I going to college?. If I’m going to college, what am I going to study?,” Digital Media Studies Program Coordinator Marilyn Buerkle said.

The day camp allows students the opportunity to dive into all things media from shooting video, writing scripts, editing, and more.

Instructors tell us these are all skills they’ll need to know.  “These days, everybody needs to be a jack of all trades and to know how to do a little bit of everything. There isn’t anybody that’s a specialist anymore and which case these kids get a taste of that,” Buerkle said.

“The outlets now obviously are much more readily available to people. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, whatever. Almost anybody can post anything but what we try to do is put some structure to what they do,” Digital Media Production Coordinator Bill Brophy said.

Students are not only learning a new skill while being exposed to a possible career path, they’re also finding a passion along the way.  “I just came in with kind of like an interest in it, not really thinking that anything would really spark for it,” Student Annalee Holmes said.

“Currently my path that I think I’m going down is for writing. So maybe writing scripts would tie into film a little bit.”

Instructors says they also hope to bring more diversity to a field they say is in need of it. “The opportunity for an HBCU to open doors to a career that maybe folks have watched on TV and thought ‘I could never do that.’ Sure you can, you absolutely can,” Buerkle said.

“Everybody has a story to tell. It maybe your story, it maybe someone else’s story, or it may be my story. A good communicator tells that story from beginning to end,” Brophy said.

At the end of the week, a program will be held to showcase a movie produced by the students highlighting all their hard work.

Instructors also tell 47ABC they hope the camp inspires students to become future Hawks and enroll in their Digital Media Studies program.

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