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The Road to Success: What “Racing Dreams,” Sadie Nash, and my POV Internship Did for Me

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Keyana Cumberbatch-Walters is a high school intern who joined POV through Sadie Nash Leadership Project. As her POV internship draws to a close, she shares how Sadie Nash Leadership Project, POV, and the film Racing Dreams have impacted her outlook on her future.

A photo from the film "Racing Dreams."

Sadie Nash Leadership Project is a young women’s leadership program that promotes leadership and activism among women. It guides young people by helping them understand themselves, and the world around them by influencing leadership and decision making skills, in the process of increasing self-esteem, and showing the importance of community involvement and action. I participated in Sadie Nash’s Summer Institute during the summer of 2011 and I can honestly say that it made me a stronger, more open-minded person — two things which will help me take advantage of more opportunities in the future.

Community Action Placement is an 8-month long leadership training internship where “Nashers” are placed in work atmospheres where their interests and needs are met, while at the same time gaining skill development and training. I was placed at POV, a documentary series on PBS that mainly focuses on social issues. POV reaches out to different organizations around the country, such as libraries, schools, and community centers that they believe would be interested in their current slate of films, helping them offer free screenings. These partnerships are built between community organizations, television stations, or even a group of friends that decided to have a screening event for the neighborhood that are designed to spark deep conversation and debate around the topic of the documentary.

While at POV, I had the opportunity to watch Racing Dreams, which is about three pre-teens who dream of becoming professional NASCAR drivers. Along the way, all three teens have a lot of obstacles to overcome, whether it has to do with money, school, or even making the difficult decision of wanting to race for the rest of their lives. I can personally relate to this film because I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my own life. I am rapidly approaching the college selection process, and it is extremely overwhelming.

During my time at Sadie Nash, my mindset totally changed. Of course I knew before that there were more intelligent, privileged and talented people in the world than me, but then I had an opportunity to share my opinions, dreams, and obstacles with other young females. It made me look at the world in a totally different way, and it made me excited about having an opportunity to learn and experience new things. As a group we would have conversations and debates about current happenings in the world, and it made me realize how parents sometimes raise their children to see life one way, instead of exposing them to different angles and points of view. Before I came to POV, I was more than certain that I wanted to be a Crime Scene Investigator, but now I’m actually interested in journalism. After watching the POV film Racing Dreams, I was inspired because it made me remember that as long as I put my mind to something and work towards my goal, I am destined for success.

Like many other POV films, Racing Dreams explores real life struggles and obstacles a person has to overcome to succeed in the world. With all three experiences — Sadie Nash Leadership Project, the internship at POV, and watching the film Racing Dreams — I’ve learned that it’s okay to come out of my comfort zone and try something new. By doing so, I’ve broadened my horizons and gained more experience. I’ve also learned that trying new things can make me more motivated to achieve my goals.

POV accepts applicants for internships year round in many departments: Community Engagement & Education, Development, Digital and Programming &amp Production. To find out more and to apply for a POV Internship, visit pov.org/internships.

POV Guest Blogger
POV Guest Blogger
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
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