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Tales untold: A student’s quest for community storytelling

 

Senior Haley Myers is the creator of "When in Milly."
Senior Haley Myers is the creator of "When in Milly."

What started as a class project on why students love their community has turned into a tightly-scheduled, coordinated effort of a web series garnering thousands of views.

“I actually began this as part of a class last semester,” said Haley Myers, senior mass communication major. “But the reaction I got was amazing and that feedback made me think I could do something bigger.”

After showing the video clip to Senior Lecturer Angela Criscoe, the capstone course ran with it and developed “When in Milly” as the class project. Myers’ vision for the web series comes from the popular social media project, “Humans of New York,” whose tagline is “New York, one story at a time.” Similarly, Myers’ mission is to tell the story of people and places of Milledgeville.

The class consists of team groups of four who develop story ideas and pitch them to Myers. The class produces one video every Wednesday, which they push out on their social media.

“Georgia College’s mission includes being active in the community and when planning this project, I knew I wanted to put action to those words,’ said Myers. “Getting invested in this community and showing how cool it is part of the mission of ‘When in Milly’.”

Myers, who is also pursuing nonprofit certification, says the importance of community is something she hopes to highlight throughout the web series.

“I think a lot of students have this tunnel vision and they can sometimes think that walking to class and dorms and the Greenway is it—they think that is the total community,” said Myers. “They don’t see the larger community around them.” 

Criscoe says that the project is a large undertaking and speaks to the dedication of the students in the class.

“Mass communication students are hardworking. When you see one with a camera strapped around their shoulders you know that they will spend a minimum of three hours on one project...one hour of prep, one hour of shooting and one hour of post.” said Criscoe. “But for a web episode, these students will put into it a minimum of 15 - 20 hours. It takes a lot of commitment to be in the mass communication program and the students in capstone have been doing it for two years.”

Myers will graduate in May and plans to pursue non-profit work. Her focus is on empowering others to better their lives. Her hopes for “When in Milly” is that it will find a group of students who are interested in the community.

“Hopefully it sticks and it finds people that want to tell good stories,” said Myers. “The stories are out there—we just have to look and have the right people who want to tell them.”

For more information on “When in Milly,” visit www.facebook.com/wheninmilly

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