Sean’s Emerson Students Shine Spotlight on Life Changing Program


Students enrolled in Emerson’s Digital Storytelling for Public Relations class recently had an opportunity to share an important story about a program that is changing lives right in their neighborhood.

It began when Communications Studies Chair, Dr. Gregory Payne, introduced the course’s instructor, Sean Tracey, to Neil Harris, a Boston Public Schools teacher. Mr. Harris asked if Sean’s graduate students could create a video telling the story of their program, Project Achendo, which means “Promise”—or Young Man With a Plan, as its members now call it. The program gives young, male students of color a safe space to connect with each other and their mentors, in order to focus on creating the future they want.

Professor Tracey immediately saw the value in their story and enthusiastically agreed. His students were also on board and excited to not only tell these young students’ stories, but to have a “real world” experience—working with a client on an actual Public Relations project.

Under Sean’s supervision, the grad students managed every aspect of the shoot, from sound and lighting, to recording and editing. The high school students, from New Mission High School, attended a 3 hour class in Digital Storytelling at Emerson College, instructed by Emerson students. The high schoolers and their mentors were also interviewed on camera. Then, a number of Tracey’s students visited the program at New Mission High School to capture the young men in their environment, and to give the digital story even more authenticity and impact.

The final video premiered at Emerson’s “Keepin it Reel” Showcase on April 27th, 2017. If you missed the premier on campus, you can watch the inspirational video here.