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Other Partnerships & Initiatives
Mental Health in Schools
Works with schools, parents and students to identify mental health issues and makes necessary linkages to mental health services.
Truancy Prevention Through Mediation
Families work with school staff, and social service agencies, to address the root causes of attendance problems. Research has shown that the combination of mediation and counseling along with connections between the family, other family supports, the schools and the community can significantly reduce truancy.
Scenarios USA is a national non-profit organization that gives teens the reins to create their own media on issues that shape their lives, such as HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, peer-pressure, communication, drug/alcohol use, violence and self-esteem. The mission is to help young people make healthier and safer decisions about their lives and relationships by sharing their ideas, imagination, and knowledge with their peers.
When was Scenarios USA founded?
In 1998, by Maura Minsky and Kristen Joiner. Maura has worked in film and television since 1987 and Kristen has worked internationally in reproductive health rights since 1991. They still run Scenarios USA as Co-Executive Directors.
What does Scenarios USA do?
Scenarios USA hosts the annual “What’s the Real Deal?” Contest in which youth, ages 12-22, are asked to write stories about their choices and behaviors in relationships, particularly during crucial decision-making moments. The winning writers, partnered with feature film directors, make their stories into short films for national distribution. The films are produced in the hometowns of the teen writers, where they are involved in every step of the process. The young people and directors premiere their films in New York City, which launches their distribution across the country.
How many teens have participated in the Scenarios USA program?
10,000 teens have written stories for Scenarios USA since 1999.
How many films has Scenarios USA made thus far?
Twelve films, heading into 2006-2007.
Who are the directors who have worked with Scenarios?
Michael Apted [Gorillas in the Mist], Jamie Babbit [The Quiet], Adam Davidson [The Lunch Date - Academy Award®-winner], Griffin Dunne [Practical Magic], David Frankel [The Devil Wears Prada], David Koepp [Secret Window], Hector Galán [The Forgotten Americans], Tamara Jenkins [Slums of Beverly Hills], Doug Liman [Mr. & Mrs. Smith], Jim McKay [Everyday People], Alison Maclean [Jesus’ Son], Jesse Peretz [The Chateau], Gina Prince-Bythewood [Love & Basketball], Kinan Valdez [El Teatro Campesino], Eva Vives [Raising Victor Vargas], Hannah Weyer [La Boda], and Ben Younger [Prime].
Where do the films get distributed?
The films, distributed with teaching guides, are used by schools and community groups nationwide and in 3 countries; screened at film festivals and conference worldwide; aired on Showtime and MTV; used as the media source in college health textbooks; and streamed on the web. An estimated 15 million people a year see a Scenarios USA film.
Have the films won awards?
Yes! Scenarios USA has received the Award for Excellence and Innovation in Social Marketing from Porter-Novelli, a major public relations firm; the Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media from the Council on Foundations; the Paul Robeson Award for Excellence in Independent Filmmaking from the Newark Black Film Festival; and the American Library Association named Scenarios films Best Young Adult Videos for 2004.
What are the benefits of the Scenarios USA program?
Scenarios gives teenagers a creative forum to consider the issues shaping their lives and have their ideas and opinions heard; offers educators an innovative teaching tool and expands health education into English, Social Studies, Science and Drama classes; engages communities to address teen health issues that are often ignored until they become a problem.
For more information, please contact Steph M. Wahome, Scenarios Greater Cleveland Coordinator, at (216) 443-2030.