Lights, camera, action! In a collaboration between Cordillera Productions, Citizen Schools and the Center for Contemporary Arts, students from De Vargas Middle School in Santa Fe had the opportunity to create, produce and share their own “Reel Youth Stories” through filmmaking. Apprentices worked closely with filmmakers Clare Rok, also their Deputy Campus Director at the De Vargas and Jason Jaacks from Cordillera Productions to learn about media literacy, storytelling and film production. Students researched, wrote and produced two films about social issues they felt were important to their communities: The Sky Trip and Why I Don’t Smoke. They also helped create this short documentary about their learning process. Through the apprenticeship, students found a venue to come together, discover common ground, learn alongside each other and transform skills and ideas into direct action. At the end of the semester, apprentices held a community screening of their Reel Youth Stories films at the Center for Contemporary Arts. In addition, "Why I Don't Smoke" recently won second place in Documentary at Future Voices of New Mexico, a state-wide film contest sponsored by National Geographic!