Ask the Alumnus | Evan Gulock

Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, MI

We caught up with our favorite YouTuber, Evan Gulock, this month. Evan graduated from Royal Oak High School in Royal Oak, Michigan in 2015 and is now wrapping up his sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago where he studies film and media communications. Evan came to the Student Academy in 2015 and afterward interned with Detroit Public Television. At DPT, Evan produced this heartwarming story on Detroit’s Clark Park that later ran on the NewsHour. Last summer, he joined SRL’s youth team at the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, where he helped give young voters a voice in the national dialogue. His YouTube channel (and puppet videos) are a surefire way to brighten your day, so we’re always eager to hear what Evan is working on.

What have you been up to since SRL?
I’ve been attending Columbia College Chicago, where I have been studying film and media communications. I am just as dedicated to documentary/journalism as I am to narrative film, and I am finding an excellent balance here in Chicago.

Over the summer, I was a part of an SRL content creation team that covered the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, specifically focusing on youth perspectives on the recent election, which was an incomparable experience. Since then I have been diving head-and-heart first into a variety of independent projects, some of which will be coming to fruition in the months to come.

What experiences or lessons do you value most from your time with SRL?
No more than two days after an incredible and intensive week at the SRL Academy, I was off on my next PBS adventure with an internship at Detroit Public Television set up by SRL. There I produced a story on a community in Southwest Detroit that has provided opportunities for generations of young people to grow and learn from its educational programs. It was an absolute inspiration to see so many people coming together for the sake of the education and wellbeing of their kids.

What are your professional goals going forward and how did SRL help you realize them?
I have known for a long time that I want to be a director and a writer, and my experiences with SRL assured me that this is the path for me. Storytelling is my passion — I love chasing the line of a story with the enthusiasm of an energetic gazelle — and SRL has definitely strengthened my ability and desire to chase those stories.

What advice do you have for current SRL participants?
I have learned that you can’t just wait to let the right story fall into your lap. You must to be curious, motivated, diligent, intuitive, with an eye for detail and nuance. You need to be prepared for things to change and shift in the process – sometimes a story isn’t what you think it is going to be, and flexibility is key.

The world out there is funny like that. The news is and can only ever be a window to let the sun in. Where the sun will point is anyone’s guess. All we can do is adjust that window.

Watch Evan’s Clark Park story: