City Center is a local nonprofit organization that helps under-resourced families and at-risk youth. Their services include an after-school program, athletic program, food pantry, clothing closet, educational resources, and many other services offered in conjunction with other organizations.
Founded in 2016 and led by Jed Chappell and his wife, Julie, City Center aims to bring relief and restoration to lives in the 405. Jed was once an at-risk youth who went down the wrong path, and the mission is close to his heart.
At the age of 18, he engaged in armed robbery and pulled a gun on a police officer. He was shot four times and woke up handcuffed to a bed in ICU. He was sentenced to 47 years in prison at the age of 19, but served just eight years. After being released from prison, he became a pastor and began to reach back into the communities he was once poisoning.
He personally knows what it takes to serve young people at risk and offer support for their families, and he looks for every opportunity to share the City Center’s mission in order to help more people. The organization has grown rapidly in the past two years and has received nearly $2 million in support. They have partnerships with more than 50 different organizations and serve 100 kids every day in their after-school program.
In other words, they have a powerful story to tell about mentorship and how building relationships with young people can change their lives.
“The programs are really designed to get people into relationship with others,” said Jed Chappell. “We’re a big part of God’s plan in reaching out to people. He wants us to engage in relationship with others. The magic is in showing up, being there one-on-one, and being able to invest in others.”
To help tell the story of City Center’s impact, Jed approached Resolute Visuals about producing a couple of videos for a fundraising event. Jed recognizes that the nonprofit world can be very data-driven regarding number of kids served and the statistics about success. But he also knows that the narrative is most important and that you can’t show how a young person transformed through a pie chart. The outcomes are emotional and moving, and that’s the perfect place to use video to tell a story.
Jed sought out a video company that could truly tell the story of two young people, as opposed to simply shooting some b-roll and adding a voiceover. He wanted to show where they were, where they are today, and the future they now have because of the City Center.
City Center chose Resolute Visuals for this project because of our approach to storytelling and the way that we build relationships and fully invest in a project. They also appreciated our flexibility in working with a busy nonprofit and working with kids. Sometimes it’s challenging for kids to articulate their thoughts on camera, and it can take some extra time to ask the right questions and really get to the heart of the story.
When the videos were shown at their event, they moved people to tears. Even a year after that event, the videos are still in regular use and provide Jed an easy way to show someone the difference that City Center is making every day as told through the stories of Jeremiah and Sema-J.