Where did MyVideoDiary come from?
In 2001, filmmaker Rick Stevenson set out to make a documentary, The 5000 Days Project. His plan was to interview 60 children in the Seattle area annually for 13 years (5000 days) and ask each one a series of questions that would reveal what it’s like to grow up in America today. 4000 days into the project, what Stevenson has witnessed over the years is much more profound and sobering than even the growth of a child. In nearly every interview, he has seen firsthand the vulnerability and challenges that face young people between the ages of 11-18 and the loneliness they feel during the young teenage years.
As sobering as the interviews have been, they have also been promising. Educators who saw footage of the interviews noticed three patterns among young teens:
- By being asked to be self-analytical at the least self-analytical time of their lives, these 5000 Days kids seemed to process all that was happening to them in a much healthier way. Instead of being victims of their problems, they were more likely to become masters of them.
- No matter what a child’s background, natural gifts, and experiences, each and every child feels terribly alone when faced with the challenges of growing up;
- When children have the opportunity to see the stories of The 5000 Days Project, they realize they’re not alone in their fears and insecurities, giving them encouragement and support in the challenges they face.
Stevenson writes, “The actual 5000 Days process (the annual interviews and self reflection) has become equally as important as the end product. That said, we have a major goal to create a website and a body of short stories where kids can reference other kids and their specific problems in an effort to understand their own problems, with the primary message being: ‘You are not alone’.”
To learn more about the scope of Stevenson’s groundbreaking work and find out how to support it further, click here.