Students Step Out From Comfort Zone & Learn a Life Lesson

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By Lauren Johnson & Michael Esparza, CTVN

As the year comes to a close, Community TV Network (CTVN) wraps up another successful semester. There were laughs, sometimes tears, and even hugs throughout the year by CTVN students. But most importantly there were lessons learned for some students – lessons that have forever changed them.


Student’s take a break from shooting video and share a few laughs.


“I feel more confident,” said 15-year-old Andrea Tellez, an After Schools Matter student. “It was a good experience.”


Tellez said she would show up to class everyday ready to learn something new. She sometimes found herself acting as the leader of her group, helping to keep everyone on task.


“This was something that was out of my comfort zone,” Tellez said. “I feel more confident because it has made me think about what I want to do in life.”



Lights, camera, action! Two students go through one last rehearsal reading of their scripts off the teleprompter before filming.


Through a series of classes, CTVN teens put on many memorable productions ranging from final thoughts on the 2016 Election, to ideas on how younger generations can fight global warming.

Some students are considering returning next semester for the course, like 14-year-old Johmel Sock.

“I will return most likely,” Sock said. “It was really helpful because it helped me decide what I’m really interested in and what I need to do to get into certain fields.”

Sock would arrive a little early to the CTVN studio just to practice his trumpet before the class.

He said he wasn’t sure about the program when he first started but the instructors really encouraged him to keep working hard. Sock said the class pushed him to make new friends and have an opinion about controversial issues in today’s society.


“We talked about topics that were relevant to our society currently and we got to do it often,” Sock said. “My favorite part was getting to work with everyone here and getting to be so awesome.”

By reaching out to the community, students were able to acquire great interviewing skills in addition to knowing how to handle camera equipment.


One CTVN student stops a man as he exits the CTA train station for a quick interview. Later, the student shared with a few of his classmates that he was shocked the man agreed to do the interview. 


Bill Sacco, a CTVN instructor with over 20 years of working in film and broadcast television – most notable the Oprah Winfrey Show – said he hopes the confidence students gained from the classes’ carries over to their lives outside the classroom.


“I think most of them have a better understanding of working behind and in front of the camera,” Sacco said. “I wanted them to get confident – confident doing work here that would transfer into life confidence.”


CTVN teens learn to interview members of their community, while asking serious questions about today’s most controversial issues.


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