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NMSU grad student assists in statewide project for 'green jobs' documentary

It could be a wake-up call. One that screams - "This is our planet. We live here, and it's the only one we've got!"



Alexandro Paz, New Mexico State University communications graduate student, is contributing to a "green jobs" documentary for a nonprofit organization called New Energy Economy, the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and others around New Mexico. (NMSU Photo by Daniella De Luca)

This is the way in which Alexandro Paz describes a video documentary project he is working on with other young people around New Mexico.

With topics of sustainability all over the news, internet and in legislative discussions, it makes sense why students like Paz want to talk to experts in the business, get answers and gather their success stories.

Paz, a communications graduate student at New Mexico State University's College of Arts and Sciences is working with New Energy Economy, the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and others around New Mexico to put together a video documentary about "green jobs," and how they can help better our planet.

While still in the preliminary stages, Paz said the goal is to highlight youth involvement in green jobs projects throughout the state. He will conduct his share of the interviews and shoot the video over the next few months. After some time in the editing room, the film will be shown in August at the Native American Cinema Showcase Festival in Santa Fe, with showings at Indian Market and CCA.

Sustainability, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, is a hot topic, especially at NMSU after Interim President Waded Cruzado proclaimed 2009 as the Year of Sustainability at the university.

Paz's work with KRWG-TV News22 led him to be a part of this project and serve as the Las Cruces correspondent. While doing graduate work with the communications department and working on a series about sustainability for the student news show, he met Las Cruces City Councilman Nathan Small who connected him with program director Ryan Shaening Pokrasso.

Shaening works for a Santa Fe based nonprofit organization, New Energy Economy. Through a partnership with the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, the team of six, from throughout the state, will develop the green jobs documentary by highlighting ongoing projects within the state and sharing the success stories of individuals in the sustainability market, Shaening said.

"We're working on creating jobs at a state level and industries that have a lower environmental impact," Shaening said. "In order to do this, we need young people to lead."

Representatives from Albuquerque, Santa Fe and the Navajo Nation are all represented with a few more possible recruits from smaller towns in the state, he said.

Filip Celander, a digital media and education outreach director at CCA and the lead cinematographer on the project, will incorporate each of the individual's parts in addition to his own material to complete the final documentary at the end of the summer.

"By encouraging promising, emergent leaders to use digital tools to tell their own stories, we also teach them how to navigate the oft-treacherous mainstream media," Celander said. "This pilot program serves as the test case for expanded community-oriented and collaborative media projects, each intended as a tool for indigenous youth leadership, professional development and the advancement of green energy initiatives."

For more information visit http://www.newenergyeconomy.org