Katarina Thorsen showed me how I could change.
- C.M., Criminology Student (CRIM 417), Simon Fraser University
Your work with teenagers should be the lead story of every newspaper! I am a Recreation Therapist on a Level IV prison located in Los Angeles County and a lot of these guys could have warded off the boredom and anger of being a teenager by making art. Thank you for changing lives- you are an inspiration!
The thing I appreciated most about your work was that you remain open and non-judgmental with every student so that they are free to express their deepest, inner-most thoughts. Even in our classroom, where we all insisted we were NOT artists, you encouraged us and we all ended up creating our own little works of art that I think we were all quite proud of.
- Workshop Participant
I would like to say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for including me in your course . I had an amazing time and it really re-ignited my passion for film . I really love what you and Fred are doing, the experience was so wholesome and homely it’s more than just a film production course but a life changing experience.
You've helped me out a friggen ton! Thank you, you're the best teacher on this planet.
- A.A., Workshop Participant (Student)
One of the best classes I’ve had at SFU.
- L., Criminology Student (Safe Schools & Community), Simon Fraser University
It has been an incredible pleasure to watch Katarina work with our youth, some of which were the more difficult youth to manage. She has an amazing rapport with all the kids and staff alike. In all my years in corrections I have never witnessed an individual with such a powerful connection with the clients we work with.
- Katherine Solkowski, Volunteer and Program Coordinator, Burnaby Youth Custody Centre
I barely had anything to show on my resume, and no confidence to pursue the one thing I loved. They gave me the tools and the positive environment I needed to jumpstart my passion for art and discover skills I never knew I had.
[Kat and Fred] have shown me to open doors that I would never have had enough hope to search for. Learning and being creative in this environment feels effortless, and for that I am truly grateful.
The program allowed me to learn some great media skills. Most of all this program has given me confidence in my abilities and my value as a potential employee.
It has shown me to open doors that I would never have had enough hope to search for. Learning and being creative in this environment feels effortless, and for that I am truly grateful.
I am reaching out to thank both of you for everything and for letting me be a part of your program. Before coming to you guys I didn’t have much confidence in myself and I never ever thought that I would be able to work a “regular job” let alone a full time job ever. My time [with you] gave me so much more confidence in myself and really opened up a whole new world of film to me.
It had a profound impact on my life, while reinforcing my sense of self worth. Now I can actually say I work full time. It is a very empowering feeling to say I love my job and my life. All this is thanks to their amazing team.
Before the program I had no experience or any idea of what I wanted to do with my future. After the program I am on my way to starting a career as a film editor.
They helped me get back on my feet after a depressive psychotic break and one of the hardest times in my life. Their continued support, training and focus on future job opportunities has set me up for my current employment at Urban Native Youth Association and has resulted in now one of the most stable periods in my life.
It's a bold statement but truly it changed my life. I had no confidence in myself or my abilities and my depression and anxiety had me struggling to get out of bed. With no idea what I wanted to do with my life, feeling completely lost, they helped me find what it was that could bring joy to my life. They showed me how I have the ability to learn and teach myself, that I can explore and rely on myself. They helped me find the courage to keep trying when I often wanted to give up. It was a safe space to explore my ideas and their encouragement helped me believe in myself. Today I am working as an editor fulltime, and I am as happy as I can be. The classes gave me the stability to build a routine. The training gave me transferable skills making me a more desirable employee and their kindness, generosity and patience helped me find my way and land my dream job.