Editorial Board Spotlight August 2018
"It is important to expand our understanding of the United Nations’ development goals as they apply to all countries and not just those considered underdeveloped because the United States, too, has work to do to meet these goals."
"Actions in Spotlight also provides young people a platform to share ideas and raise awareness of these important issues. I no longer feel as powerless as I once did."
My name is Georgia Bernbaum. I am a rising sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Winter Park High School in Florida. I am a dancer, sprinter, filmmaker and the founder of The Dance Happy Project. After four years of dance classes, I started Dance Happy to bring dance lessons to the children living at our local homeless shelter. I raised over $12,000 to fund the project and received additional grants from The Pollination Project and The Awesome Foundation. Two years into the program, I was named a 2017 Disney Dreamer and Doer. I have made short documentaries and dramas which have been honored by the Florida Association for Media Education and CSPAN. While I sincerely appreciate being recognized for my accomplishments, the award that means the most to me is one acknowledging my effort. My high school track coaches commended my work ethic, competitive nature, and positive attitude with the school’s Good Sportsmanship Award, an honor not given every year.
What does Actions in Spotlight mean to you, and why is it important for you to promote the sustainable development goals?
I have always been concerned about inequality in the world but felt powerless to rectify it. Actions in Spotlight has encouraged me to learn more about why these inequalities exist and how society can resolve them through the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Actions in Spotlight also provides young people a platform to share ideas and raise awareness of these important issues. I no longer feel as powerless as I once did. I hope that all of us writing for Actions in Spotlight encourage other young people to learn more and speak out for the causes they support; our voices will be heard.
What has been your favorite submission so far? What was it about and what was the story behind your work?
My favorite submission is The Florida Project, a movie highlighting the extreme poverty in my hometown of Orlando. I interviewed Brooklyn Prince, the young actress who played the movie’s protagonist, and learned about the hidden poor living in the shadow of our popular theme parks. It is important to expand our understanding of the United Nations’ development goals as they apply to all countries and not just those considered underdeveloped because the United States, too, has work to do to meet these goals.
What are your goals for the future? How do you think Actions in Spotlight plays into these goals?
After I made my first documentary short, I grew interested in telling stories. Stories can educate, inspire and spur change. Because I enjoy storytelling, I have considered pursuing a career in journalism. Certainly, writing for Actions in Spotlight has enhanced my skills, and that will serve me well in whatever I do.