Brooke Kanna participated in SRL’s summer student academy in 2017 and graduated last year from Kauai High School in Kauai, Hawaii. She believes in being factual and accurate in the most important type of production: yourself. We had the chance to see what she’s been up to since her participation in the 2017 Academy.
Tell us a little about your life post-SRL. Where are you studying? What is your major?
I am currently attending Biola University in La Mirada California, majoring in Cinema and Media Arts with an emphasis in production. With that, I’m working on a short film with a group of classmates.
What advice do you have for current SRL participants?
For current SRL participants, my advice would be to take every opportunity you can to get yourself that much more ahead towards whatever goal you wish to reach. Don’t just sit around and wait for opportunities to come to you, because more often than not they won’t. I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I’m merely saying to be ambitious! Reach out to people and make connections. As far as the film and production industry goes, networking is key. Also, don’t be afraid to share your ideas, no matter how intimidating others may be. Any word of input is worth a shot — you never know unless you try. In all of this, remember to remain humble.
What experiences or lessons do you value most from your time with SRL?
I valued the relationships I made with people the most. To this day, I still talk to some of the people I met during the SRL Academy. I really learned to build a community with a group that I just met, and from that, one of the most valuable lessons was cooperation. I’m the type of person who really cherishes time well-spent with others, and my experiences with SRL have tremendously contributed to that.
How do you think your voice has grown as a storyteller through SRL?
As a storyteller I feel my voice has become more outspoken. I was always hesitant to share my thoughts with a group, especially if I didn’t know them that well, but now I’m able to feel more confident in my ideas, and know that constructive criticism is only there to build me up. I’ve also grown in knowing what exactly I want to stand behind or stand for, because SRL has integrated so many topics and issues of today’s generation that it’s opened my eyes to reality a bit more. Speaking on such topics really gets my brain working, and through that I’m able to see how I feel about it rather than blindly communicating it.
Why do youth voices matter?
Youth voices are the voices of the future. They are the next generation, and the generation that will soon be making governmental decisions for us. We can’t continue waiting until the next officials come in to start solving these problems. Just because it’s the youth speaking out, and not the adults, it doesn’t mean the youth voices are any less valuable. They have a voice so they can speak, not to remain silent. Ultimately, young people are being affected by all of our adult-led decisions happening today. They are having their world crafted and molded for them by other people to grow up in, so I find it rather crucial that the youth voices have the chance to say something about that.