In 2015, I met Alexa Barett. I was a Sophomore at Duke and she was a Senior. For her final Capstone project for her Visual Media Studies major, she asked if she could document my life here at Duke and what it’s been like to be a Little Person. She then submitted it to a student film festival at Duke, which ended up winning the audience choice award. Not only did I get to share my story for the first time, I made a new friend for life.
In April 2016, I participated in my ever first Disability Film Challenge. The Disability Film Challenge was started in 2015 by Nic Novicki – who I later met at the Little People of America Conference in 2016 – and it gives people with disabilities a chance to act as people or whoever they want to be, rather than being portrayed as fantasy characters or creatures, or get a chance and work behind the scenes. Every year, the theme of the 3-5 minute film we have to make changes, and we only have three days to write, film, edit and produce the video. The 2016 theme was supposed to be a mystery, and my friend, Cara O’Malley, wrote, filmed and edited the film, while I acted in it. We unfortunately didn’t win but when I met Nic himself, he mentioned our videos made it to the finals!
In 2014, I had the opportunity to take a documentary studies class at Duke called Videos for Social Change. In this class, I got the opportunity to make a five minute documentary about the minimum wage gap in North Carolina. This video discusses the difference in the lives between someone receiving barely minimum wage and someone who actually receives more than minimum wage. Watch to learn how receiving more than minimum wage can really impact ones life for the better.