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How a Sports Injury Became an Opportunity to Make an Impact

Insights from Student Content Creators

By February 27, 20244 min read

My story starts with a simple camera. Growing up with an ex-photographer as a mother has its perks. There was always a camera at my disposal and, lucky for me, I was encouraged to use it. While I never really committed to more than a 30-minute photoshoot of random subjects in my backyard, I was always proud of the photos I took. This would last many years: I would stumble across my casual photography hobby every other month or so, and especially during Covid. As I entered high school, I started to explore different career ideas, from physical therapy to welding. Each potential career path had its drawbacks, but they all shared the same core goals: One: Find a job that allows me to connect with others, and two: Find a job that doesn’t leave me stuck at a desk all day.

Editor’s Note:

The following is a story from high school student Caden Block, a student athlete who discovered the impact he could have off the field after an unfortunate injury led him to pursue another passion: storytelling. 

At Class Intercom, we’re passionate about empowering content creators to learn new skills and evolve existing ones. That includes formal instruction in the classroom, learning by doing, and experimenting with tools and ideas. The next step is sharing that knowledge with others. The Insights from Student Content Creators series allows students to share their knowledge and experiences with a global audience

Each potential career path had its drawbacks, but they all shared the same core goals. One: find a job that allows me to connect with others, and two: find a job that doesn’t leave me stuck at a desk all day.

The more I thought about it and the better my camera skills became, I started to put together the pieces. I never had much of an audience for my photos besides my parents, who were (of course) always supportive–until an unfortunate sports injury reframed things. 

After suffering an injury during my junior year track season, I found myself still wanting to see and support my teammates as they competed–and I brought my camera along to pass the time. I started snapping photos of my teammates training, competing, crossing finish lines. Seeing their reactions and the genuine joy they felt when they saw a photo from a moment during their race has me hooked! 

Around that time, I was presented with an opportunity to take a new media production class called TigerVision my senior year. Knowing this would be a great opportunity to explore a career I had always been interested in was enough of a reason for me to sign up. 

We started the year learning the basics of videography and video editing. As a first-year class at my high school, it was definitely a learning experience for both my teacher and for me that proved to help me build valuable teamwork and problem-solving skills. We spent much of the first part of the school year gathering film and, again, I was brought back to the fulfilling feeling of capturing meaningful moments in the lives of others. As the year has progressed so has the quality and volume of the content we produce. With the help of district funding, we have been able to buy some lights, microphones, and other equipment to further improve our content production. 

As I continued to pump out content, my skills improved, but so did my understanding that media is a very powerful tool. From filming pregame speeches in the locker room to capturing the sad moments after a loss, I find myself feeling every emotion as if I am a player. Being an athlete, in my case basketball, is a rollercoaster of emotions–and it is one that is ultimately a very big factor in the love of playing sports. In addition to learning more editing skills and filming techniques, with media, I can capture moments that transport viewers into those moments with athletes. 

While my main focus has been sports, an elementary school student recently sparked an idea in me bigger than a game. MentoringWorks is a nonprofit organization that allows high school students to connect with and mentor elementary students who may struggle in school. This program resonates strongly with me and has impacted my life greatly. I knew I wanted to spread the word about MentoringWorks and the opportunities it provides students to my classmates, and through TigerVision I have been able to do so. I made a short video featuring clips of students and interviews from directors about the organization and how it helps kids, then shared the video on my school’s social media. Within just weeks, MentoringWorks saw an influx of new mentor signups, and I started to hear about more and more of my classmates signing up. 

As I enter college, I am excited to further expand my knowledge and skills and, in turn, expand the impact I make with my content

This story is part of a series called Insights from Student Content Creators. If you know a student, educator, or community member with a skill or story to share about the power of content and storytelling, send them our way! Amplifying student voices and sharing authentic stories is at the core of who we are. Drop us a line and let’s get in touch.

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Caden Block

Caden Block is a senior student athlete at Hastings High School and the winner of the 2023 Content Generation Award. Caden is passionate about capturing and sharing great moments, and plans to pursue a career in media production and business in college.