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May 11, 2013

Milford student produces local online video series

By Michelle Miller The Cooperstown Crier
The Daily Star

---- — A Milford Central School senior has begun sharing news about the local community on a video magazine called the “Milford Montage.”

The idea developed when the senior, Spencer O’Bryan, and MCS librarian Philip Durkin attended the Aspen Ideas Festival during the summer. There, they were able to meet and share meals with politicians, journalists, artists, scientists, inventors, environmentalists, national security experts and other change-makers from around the world.

The “Milford Montage” features local people, places and happenings in short video clips. O’Bryan said the videos will be posted continuously. He said there are some projects in the works including interviews with local farmers and a sit-down with the mayor of Milford.

The intention, he said, is to have one centralized place for people to learn about what the area has to offer.

The project has been made possible through the Bezos Scholar Program, a leadership development program that offers pathways for student and educators to put their education into action. O’Bryan was one of 12 high school juniors from the U.S. selected as a 2012 Bezos Scholar.

Student and Education Scholars attend six days of seminars, tutorials, lectures and debates. The program is a journey that begins in Aspen, Colo., and continues throughout the following school year as scholars return home to launch their own big ideas. Their task is to create a sustainable local ideas festival that is intended to transform their schools and communities.

With a $1,000 grant through the Bezos Scholar Program, O’Bryan, with the help of the district’s broadcast journalism students, has been able to see his ideas come to life. And while some scholars may have planned a one-day event for their local ideas festivals, O’Bryan said his intent is to have his project have a lasting impact on the community.

“Things are definitely going well, but it is still early on,” O’Bryan said.

Durkin, who has helped O’Bryan develop and launch his project, said the school already had the equipment and students interested in reporting. He said he is proud of the accomplishments achieved so far and hopes people check out what has been posted.

“Now the goal is getting the word out. We want to make people aware that it is available,” he said.

A link to the “Milford Montage” is in the news section of the MCS website, milfordcentral.org, or directly at www.schoolworld.milfordcentral.org/webpages/pdurkin/.