Digital Media Training for Teens

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The Shine On Chicago Mission:

The mission of Shine On, Chicago! is to teach high school & middle school students the basics of photography and video production in after school and summer programs. Through the process of taking pictures and creating videos, teens learn:
• 21st Century digital skills with cameras and computers
• how to work in a team environment
• storytelling and interviewing skills
• respect, for themselves and the production equipment
• about Digital Media career opportunities in Advertising/Graphic Design/Photography/Videography/Digital Editing

The Shine On, Chicago! Team:

Program Director: Jim Kropp

The Shine On, Chicago! mobile production classroom provides the perfect vehicle, literally – to combine my talent and passion for teaching photography and videography.”
Jim Kropp
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Jim is a videographer, television producer, editor, photographer, author, and teacher. He started his career in advertising as a creative director before transitioning into video production.

Through his production company, Creative Spark!, Jim has produced television shows and created documentaries and music videos for NBC, PBS, and ABC. Jim taught television production at The Illinois Center for Broadcasting for 5 years and photography at The Chicago Photography Center since 2007.
He is a self-taught photographer who has traveled extensively documenting the world’s people and culture. Beginning first with traditional film cameras and have continued to date with digital.

Shine On, Chicago! gives Jim an opportunity to bring all his talents together to help students improve their Photo/Video skills and help them get Digital Media Careers and advanced degrees.

Board Member: Bill Natale

As soon as I saw the Shine On, Chicago Coach -- I knew that kids and students of all ages would just love it! What a terrific production space and teaching space in one cool package! I think it's a great program for teaching video production and digital storytelling, and look forward to helping the company achieve its many objectives and goals.
Bill Natale
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Bill is an Emmy-Award winning producer/director and executive member of the Directors Guild of America Midwest Council. He has served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, Chicago Campus; Executive Producer of Internet Streaming Corporation and Executive Producer of WATCH312.COM.

Bill has worked as a freelance broadcast professional in various capacities for media outlets, including radio stations: WXRT, WGN and Spanish language WSBC as well as TV stations: WGN, WMAQ, WTTW, WFLD, WLS, WBBM, WYCC, WJYS, WKYC, WIFR, WTMJ, WVTV and Spanish language WGBO.  He has also authored two books: a children’s book entitled “Woolly Wurm,” with all profits going to Infant Welfare Society and a recent release of an adult book published by IMAGE Press entitled: “1968 – A Story As Relevant Today As It Was Then,” available at Anderson Book Stores, AMAZON and on KINDLE.
Bill serves as president of the board of directors for PanAmerica Performance Works Theatre Company (formerly Latino Chicago Theater Company).   He has served as a member of the board of directors for the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences and as Chairman of the Broadcast Promotion & Marketing Executives Association.

Bill continues to do work as a producer/director. Recently, PBS aired to over 224 public TV stations, the documentary he directed, "Water Pressures,” dealing with the global water crisis, hosted by Adian Grenier (star of HBO's Entourage).

Board Member: Ruth Clayman, PhD

Throughout my lifelong career in education, I have had the pleasure of working closely with students very much like those participating in Shine On, Chicago! That's why I understand and believe in the amazing opportunities Shine On, Chicago! provides CTE Digital Media students with the photo/video skills training and career mentorship to help them land jobs in the industry in entry-level positions. With my current position in post-secondary educational administration at The Illinois Media School, I also recognize the value of continued training and development of photo/video skills through post-secondary education. I believe my experience makes me well positioned to help support Shine On Chicago's mission. I am very honored to have this opportunity to serve on the board of Shine On, Chicago!
Ruth Clayman
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Ruth is an accomplished leader in higher education who has successfully created initiatives and strategies that improved outcomes for the entire student cycle from marketing through recruitment, education/curriculum, graduation and placement.

She is committed to improving student learning outcomes, retention and success rates for diverse student bodies. Dedicated to effectively leading faculty and staff by motivating and empowering individuals and teams.
Ruth is currently the Regional Campus Director for The Illinois Media School and The Colorado Media School where she's responsible for hiring, training, and leading campus operations inclusive of Leadership, Instruction, Financial Aid, Education, Student Services and Career Services.

One of Ruth's goals as a Shine On, Chicago! board member is to help boost its mission of providing a pathway for careers and advanced educational opportunities in media for under-served Teens in Chicago!

Board Member: Sophia Foley

My oldest son, Pat, was one of those kids who really wasn't motivated by his school classes…. But then he had a chance to take a Graphic Design class, and it piqued his interest in the subject while showing his natural talent — turns out that class made all the difference in his eventual career decisions….
Sophia Foley
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Not all kids get the chance to find their interest in art and design — sometimes it takes an organization like Shine On Chicago with its Summer Photo Safaris to get teens to focus on their true interests and talents.
Sophia Foley
Sophia Foley has been an integral part of Shine On Chicago since 2018 — first as a board member, and then after she moved to Atlanta as a “Trusted Advisor”.

Sophia has been a perfect addition to the Shine On Chicago board, with her big heart and a genuine willingness to help those who aren’t as fortunate, she has helped with program fundraising and has attended several teen photo programs over the years. And with her strong financial background, she has helped create Shine On Chicago’s Financial Statements and been involved with Financial Planning for the organization.
In addition, Sophia is a very creative individual who has contributed to Shine On Chicago with her ideas for grants, as well as recommending other organizations that work with kids to collaborate on photo programs. It was Sophia who recommended the non-profit organization, Bridge Communities in Chicago which then led to a collaboration with Bridge Community Teens involved in Shine On Photo Safaris — and it’s a partnership that continues to this day!

So while she’s currently a “Trusted Advisor” to the organization — we’re hopeful that at some point she’ll return again as a board member! There will always be a place within Shine On Chicago for someone with Sophia’s talents and empathetic heart!

Trusted Board Advisor: Ernie Scatton

“Kids gravitate to me because I can relate to a lot of the situations they may be going through. I see myself as a go between for management and the kids. As a ambassador for these students, their goals and dreams become my goals and dreams!”
Ernie Scatton
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Ernie brings to Shine On, Chicago his two great passions: teaching kids and being involved in team sports! For almost 10 years, Ernie worked at ESPN, with the last 5 a commercial director where he lived and breathed professional sports.

Then he left the sports side to pursue his other passion: working with kids and young adults. Ernie spent 3 years as the Educational Director at The Illinois Center for Broadcasting where he discovered that he was a natural born teacher and could motivate students to work hard and was able to make difficult situations and production assignments lighter, easier and more fun!

Trusted Board Advisor: Pat Potokar

Teaching students how to use a camera and their imaginations to take beautiful pictures is one of the greatest gifts you can give a teen.... It gives them new ways to look at their world and to see themselves from different perspectives!
Pat Potokar
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Pat Potokar has been a certified Art faculty member at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools, teaching photography, video, and design for eighteen years.

Pat holds a Bachelor of Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Photography and Graphic Design, an advanced degree from Dominican University in Education, a Master’s degree from Benedictine University in Educational Leadership, and a Master of Art in Art Education from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Before earning her teaching degrees, Pat worked as a designer in Chicago area design firms for two decades. She is a member of the Hinsdale Public Library Art Committee and has a solo exhibition this summer at the Library.

Instructor/Coach: Antwan Ward

Working with Jim and Shine on Chicago has allowed me to discover a passion and love for film....
Antwan Ward, aka "Showtime"
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Antwan Ward, "Showtime", graduated from the Illinois Center for Broadcasting in downtown Chicago in 2013. At first he didn't really know much about film or the editing process until he met an instructor there by the name of Jim Kropp.

During the beginning stages of learning how to edit, he was frustrated a lot because he didn't know if he would be able to sit and learn. But because of the patience and expertise of Jim, he was able to learn not only how to edit film, but shoot my own film.
As Antwan says, "Jim dedicated a lot of his own personal time and energy into helping me get comfortable with working with Final Cut Pro 7 and FCP X in a short time." The videography and editing skills that he learned allowed him to quickly find freelance work with several nonprofit organizations and businesses creating fantastic videos for their organizations.