Two years ago, DePaul film student, Mykhailo Bogdanov, volunteered at P.A.D.S. for an overnight shift. He was fascinated by the dedication and love showed by the staff to every person who came in for shelter. That night changed him forever. He described it as “an unbelievable experience to help and most importantly, to give my time to those who were in need of it.” It was so marking, in fact, that he decided to create a short film about it which went on to win first place in the 2019 Vinny Prize competition.
This film narrates the writings of incarcerated students from DePaul’s Inside Out “Think Tank” class on their life in a maximum-security prison. Through their words, we experience the social, mental, physical, and emotional impact of incarceration, and ponder its effectiveness.
The Third Pillar of Islam: How a Mosque Transformed a Community through Kindness
Six years ago, a vacant Catholic church in a low-income Buffalo, New York neighborhood was purchased by a Muslim community and turned into a mosque. The location was specifically chosen in order to serve surrounding families facing poverty. This film provides an example of how Islam’s third pillar of charity has transformed the area both by decreasing crime and creating a warm and welcoming community center for families.
13 latino artists painted 16 doors in Humboldt Park to celebrate their culture, reflect on obstacles they’ve overcome, express the current political challenges, and encourage unity and integration of their mixed cultures.
Third Place, 2017 Vinny Prize, Office of Mission and Values at DePaul University
Determined to break a vicious cycle of abuse, a young mother fights to create new beginnings for her biological and adopted children with the support of an innovative, multigenerational community.
Abused and neglected as a teenager, Micci Grainger fights to provide her biological and adopted children the safe and nurturing home she never experienced. The work is difficult; her adopted children themselves have been victims of abuse, neglect, and the professional indifference of the foster care system. Micci’s most difficult children are home-schooled, and she also operates a daycare center in her home. The work—raising and caring for so many children—is simply too much for Micci and her husband, Tim to handle on their own.
But Micci has help from an unlikely source: the ‘surrogate grandparents’ of Hope Meadows, an intentional, intergenerational community where senior citizens volunteer to work with adoptive families to help raise at-risk youth. Hope Meadows is a unique community, where neighbors do not just share cups of sugar; instead, they share the responsibility of raising children.
The film explores possible solutions to larger social issues – the involvement of the elderly in the care of children in the foster care system. It examines the life-altering possibilities adoptive families, at-risk youth and seniors experience when working toward a common goal.