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NC State Students Bring Nonprofit’s Work to Life

The video Cameron McCarty and Zach Swann produced for PLM Families Together premiered at a fundraiser for the nonprofit.

Communication students at NC State have used their skills to help a local nonprofit organization tell their story.

Zach Swann (senior; pictured near left) and Cameron McCarty (Fall 2013 graduate; pictured far left) worked with PLM Families Together (PLMFT) to create a video that shows the organization’s efforts to provide housing and other services for families experiencing homelessness in Wake County.

Swann met PLMFT Executive Director Beth Bordeaux while volunteering with the Appalachia Service Project. Bordeaux was impressed with Swann’s ability to communicate well with those they were helping, and sought his help on the video project.

“We wanted to use video to tell the story of how the lives of one family were changed from a state of homelessness to where they are today, stably housed and business owners,” says Bordeaux. She could not be more pleased with the final product, which she says would otherwise have been outside the scope of her agency’s budget.

“The video Zach and Cameron produced — as volunteers, no less — has an invaluable impact. “We will use it for years to come to help others understand the impact of the work we are doing. No one can tell this story like those who have experienced the recovery from homelessness first hand.”

Swann and McCarty take great pride in the project. “I was most proud of the reception the video received, especially after putting so many hours into it,” says Swann. “It was rewarding to see something that we had worked so hard on look so professional, and to be able to send such an important message to the community.”

Both students say they applied a lot of what they have learned at NC State on the project. McCarty used strengths he had developed in video production,  while Swann applied his interviewing skills. They also say they learned on the job as they worked through various challenges. “We had a couple of setbacks, from shooting locations to equipment and scheduling conflicts, but those are things I learned from the most,” says McCarty. “This project really helped me understand how I can use my knowledge and skills as a communication media major to help better my community.“

Swann continues to volunteer as a  marketing intern at Families Together. After graduating in December 2013, McCarty is set to begin a permanent job with NASCAR, where he completed several internships.

By Sherry O’Neal