STEUBENVILLE - Katie Gesto liked the YouTube video called "Kid President Pep Talk" and wondered how to do something similar for her adopted city.
And when she heard a visitor to her Mama Nita's Coffee Shop Ministry relate how her son wondered why teenagers were complaining about nothing to do in Steubenville, she had the subject idea for a video.
So she talked to coffee house volunteer Katie Hess, who contacted professor James Coyle at Franciscan University of Steubenville who in turn asked his TV production class to consider making a video using Steubenville youth talking about, "What is awesome about Steubenville."
A PREMIERE EVENT — Katie Gesto, left, and Katie Hess of Mama Nita’s Coffee House Ministry on Fifth Street watch the premiere showing of the Kid Mayor Challenge video aimed at encouraging city residents to discuss what is good about their community. - Dave Gossett
Gesto and Hess sat in a university classroom Thursday morning for the premiere showing of the two-minute video created by 11 university students and starring several city children.
"I love the music. It is a great video and the kids were excited to be involved in this video," said Gesto.
"I agree. The video captured the excitement and spirit of the kids. And, it talks about Steubenville in a positive way," added Hess.
"We plan to put the video on YouTube and hope it catches on. We have been in contact with the city schools and the parochial schools to ask them to consider showing the video at a pep rally or school event. And we will give copies of the video to the United Peace Movement," explained Gesto.
"After I saw the Kid President Pep Talk video I thought Steubenville needs a pep talk. I prayed about it and that's when we put it in motion. Katie Hess had the connection with Franciscan University and the students here did an awesome job," said Gesto.
"We want to inspire kids, older students and even adults to create their own video to talk about what is awesome about Steubenville. We need a pep talk about our town and ourselves. We want to harness the optimism and energy of our youth and transform it into a dynamism that will motivate our community. We know about the greatness and potential of Steubenville but in recent months for a number of reasons much of the positive energy has been stifled," continued Gesto.
Coyle said his students will be at at Mama Nita's Coffee House at the corner of Dock Street and North Fifth Street from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on March 23 to help students to make their videos.
"Some of the kids may be interested in this project but don't have the video equipment. So we will help people make their own short video," noted Coyle.
According to Andrew Adams, a senior originally from South Bend, Ind., "Katie Hess wanted to do something for Steubenville and she asked her to help them out. She gave us the script. Steubenville was once a booming town. It would be great to see the city become vibrant again like Steubenville once was. Our goal is to help people come together as a community."
"Every city has its own problems. We hope this video campaign will help energize the kids to want to make their city the best it can be. We are looking to the youth for a brighter future," remarked Franciscan University of Steubenville junior Lex Judge.
"We hope the kids of the community band together to make the city an awesome place," he added.
"We want to work with the schools to build momentum and provide an avenue for students to articulate the dreams they have for the city and give them courage and optimism to make those dreams a reality," stated Gesto.