Each month, a volunteer at SFBFS is featured for their dedication of time and talent. This month’s volunteer spotlight is:
Dustin Richardson - March 2015
Born and raised in Turlock, CA, Dustin Richardson has always been inspired by animated movies and dreamed of creating them someday. In 2013, Dustin decided to follow those dreams and moved to Sacramento to begin a 4-year animation program at the Art Institute of California – Sacramento. It was not long before his career advisor recommended that he look into the opportunities available at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). After attending a volunteer orientation in early 2014, Dustin was hooked!
Dustin was amazed to see what SFBFS’ Youth Education program had to offer to teens in the community through the Computer Clubhouse. One of more than 120 Clubhouses internationally, the Computer Clubhouse is where teens can go after school and work alongside volunteer mentors to learn technology skills. Among the various animation and editing programs teens learn how to use, they also offer an array of creative equipment, from green screens to a 3D printer, for great hands-on learning. When Dustin saw that the teens in the program were doing a lot of the same projects he was interested in and learning at school, he knew that was exactly where he wanted to be.
Dustin has always wanted to make animated movies and hoped to work with Pixar one day. “Now having gone to school for almost two years, a whole new world of television animation has been opened up to me. It’s great to be able to take what I learn in school and share it with the teens at SFBFS,” he says. As a volunteer, Dustin helps oversee projects, assist with any questions and teaches teens how to use different computer software. “I teach the teens how to use programs like Sculptris, which is a 3D-modeling software that’s great for beginners. We also use editing programs like iMovie, Adobe Premiere and After Effects.”
Recently, Dustin began working with a start-up animation company in Sacramento. “Being able to introduce these kinds of programs and skills means a lot to me because I never had anything like that growing up. It is a really cool opportunity for them to get to experience with this kind of technology at such an early age.”
The teaching aspect is definitely Dustin’s favorite part about volunteering in the Computer Clubhouse. “One time, I was showing a student the different things they could do with the Sculptris software. When I left him to play around with it on his own, he designed a beautiful dragon! He was really excited and proud of himself. To see that spark come alive in a student when you show them what they can do is really rewarding.”
Want to get involved with the exciting projects in the Computer Clubhouse? You can learn more about this volunteer opportunity here.
Click on a link below to read archived Volunteer Spotlights: