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Lara Soluade taking a photograph of Lauren Marie Haywood

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SCTR Grassroots: Their shine is our shine

SCTR will be working with a broad and diverse pool of content creators and always support emerging creatives. Below are some of the first new contributors that we have worked with so far.

Edited by SCTR team

Candice Mante: Grass roots film director

What would you say is your best skill and why;

I would say my best skill is my valuing people and their stories. Being raised with 2 cultures, I really love hearing and telling people’s stories from all backgrounds. With sensitive stories, I know to approach them with the right amount of emotional intelligence for people to know how valuable they are to society.

What has been the most fulfilling + satisfying project that you have worked on and why

My mental health project; mental health is something a lot of people struggle with, especially young people. Since it is not seen as a physical illness, I wanted to show people how it can look visually to shine light on the issue. Most people who struggle with their mental health tend to mask it even though deep inside they are struggling. I loved this project as I got to shed light on this issue to make people more aware of those struggling with their mental health. I also got the opportunity to donate my image to a shop raising money for the Stephen Lawrence foundation which was great.

What are your goals for this year and next year career-wise

To have more confidence and faith in myself, my skills and to go for things a lot more. As I am self taught, I sometimes doubt myself a bit. I would also love to work more on story telling through images i.e editorials and documentaries. Finally, I would love to work with charities that align with my values to help them explore certain themes through photography.

How did you hear about SCTR and what do you think about the brand ethos; to support and nurture young creatives.

I heard about SCTR via instagram; my friend posted their shoot with Damson Idris on their IG story and i decided to check it out. I decided to pitch to them and it got rejected as it didn’t align with their values but honestly, i’m glad as it showed me they really stay true to their values which was amazing! I respect how they invest in young creatives because sadly, not a lot of people have faith in young people and this leaves us feeling lost or as if we are not good enough but SCTR takes a chance on us and that is really cool.

What did you like best about the project you have completed recently with SCTR?

The shoot with King Promise! This was amazing- firstly, as a Ghanaian, I really love seeing Ghanaian afrobeat artist be recognised by the western world so the fact that SCTR decided to feature him was like them investing in Ghana and I loved it. I also got to assist and learn so much from Liam Saint-Pierre who is an amazing and kind Director. Video is something I will love to do and it was good learning more about it.

Vivian Iroanya smiling at the camera

Vivian Iroanya: Grass roots writer

What would you say is your best skill and why?

Storytelling – because I am able to be flexible on the stories I want to narrate/write about. It gives me an endless opportunity to tap into writing about politics, film, race etc. I am able to come up with ideas, seek untold stories and communicate them in the best way possible. This involves researching, planning, interviewing, editing, and using visual aids (pictures, videos, infographics).

What has been the most fulfilling + satisfying project that you have worked on and why?

The Plight of AfroItalians – I was given the chance for the first time to narrate my story and produce a podcast alongside it. I am very passionate about Italian politics and culture and finally got the opportunity to express myself about everything wrong with Italy in this piece. Also, I started freelancing last summer and it was one of my first commissioned articles which was massive for me at the time.

What are your goals for this year and next year career-wise?

I’m in my second year studying journalism at the University of Sheffield:

  • Gain as much experience as possible in journalism – internships, work experience, freelance
  • Summer placements for 2021 or hopefully a year-long full-time placement from July/September 2021 before graduating if not…
  • Graduating (summer 2022) with an actual job! The prospect of not working after university terrifies me hence why going on a placement would be ideal so I can gain as much experience as possible.
  • Do more broadcast journalism and production e.g videos, podcasts, interviews, presenting etc
  • Networking and mentorship from journalists – for experience and communication skills

How did you hear about SCTR and what do you think about the brand ethos; to support and nurture young creatives?

I heard about SCTR through their post on LinkedIn. I think the brand ethos is amazing. I can’t think of another brand for young people that has a network like SCTR with regular emails and call-outs for ideas to be submitted. Also, for most brands, it’s more about advising and zoom calls with experienced creatives, rather than actually commissioning/ assigning freelancing opportunities or mentorship. I am passionate about how gaining experience is crucial because that’s what helps a young person with little experience land a job! I am glad SCTR supports and nurtures young creatives by giving us the opportunity to have our work published including mentorship – which is what we need.

What did you like best about the project you have completed recently with SCTR?

I never thought I’d interview a well-known celebrity so early in my journalism career, let alone Damson Idris! I liked how the planning for the interview was smooth and straightforward. Sometimes, lack of communication or ghosting a young freelancer can be frustrating and knocks down confidence. But speaking with Sam and planning the interview was always on point and consistent. I knew my objectives and what I had to complete in time which was great.

Amal ALTauqi looking at the camera

Amal ALTauqi: Grass roots writer

What would you say is your best skill and why?

I would say my best skill is communication. Using my expertise to connect with a range of people and having the ability to establish a relationship with the source enables me to provide the best content possible. As a journalist, my job is to relay their story in my story – which means it’s important to humanize the interaction, use effective communication skills and ensure I’m my truest self so they can be theirs.

What has been the most fulfilling + satisfying project that you have worked on and why

Every project I have worked on in my years of experience holds significance in its very own way. I must add leading my first digital magazine cover just months after graduating from University was a huge step in the right direction. It facilitated my desire to succeed and enriched my credibility.

What are your goals for this year and next year career-wise 

I want to continue to work hard. With every project or article, I work on, I can acknowledge my abilities as a journalist, making me improve each time. I hope to lead more magazine covers and explore the realms of public relations a little more too, especially as the two industries often intertwine.

How did you hear about SCTR and what do you think about the brand ethos; to support and nurture young creatives.

I stumbled across SCTR on LinkedIn. As I have ripened into the industry, I can’t express how beneficial it is for brands such as SCTR who offer support to young creatives. Media can be a daunting field to put yourself in and that often presents pressure and uncertainty. The ethos of SCTR obliterates that completely – offering a sense of security and certainty for young creatives. It is so needed during a time like this.

What did you like best about the project you have completed recently with SCTR?

I loved how efficient the process of completing the project was. There was no beating around the bush, and I am super grateful that SCTR considered me as a dependable asset to complete the job. I’m so excited to watch and be a part of the brand’s development.

Lara Soluade holding a camera smiling

Lara Soluade: Grass roots photographer

What would you say is your best skill and why?

I think I’m quite determined. When it comes to ideas that I’m really passionate about, I think about as many avenues as possible to get to that end goal because I’ve already envisaged how it could turn out. That drive to have a high-quality finished product consequently makes me a better problem solver, and makes me more flexible throughout the development of the concept.

What has been the most fulfilling + satisfying project that you have worked on and why?

My very first shoot that I did, Mother Nature, broke down a lot of barriers for me. I hadn’t really done any photography before, but I (unconsciously) threw myself into the deep end. Going from no experience, to suddenly having to figure out how to direct a photoshoot, set up lighting, and actually do the photography, all on set was a blessing and a curse. Even though I was stressed about directing everything, it built up my confidence. It showed me that I can take charge on a creative project and produce some really nice images.

What are your goals for this year and next year career wise?

I come from a journalism background, but I would like to start working with images more, whether that’s photos or videos. My main aim is to start putting myself out there more instead of letting my nerves get the best of me. I also have a list of shoot ideas that I’ve been adding to for a few years, and I’m hoping to collaborate with other creatives to execute those concepts.

How did you hear about SCTR and what do you think about the brand ethos; to support and nurture young creatives?

I think the brand ethos is an extremely important one. It can be really hard when you’re starting out because there’s so many different avenues you could explore. On social media, you see so many people all doing different things, so it’s really easy to feel lost. Having an opportunity to showcase your talent and work with a team that gives you valuable support and guidance makes you feel more comfortable with your craft and can give you that confidence in your own ability.

What did you like best about the project you have completed recently with SCTR?

Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to get into the groove of a shoot, but it was really easy for me to fully relax and just focus on the images that were springing to mind throughout.

Daniele Kieraite

Daniele Kieraite: Grass roots writer

What would you say is your best skill and why?

I have a couple of my best skills, which I could say are creativity and storytelling. Since childhood, various thoughts are constantly buzzing in my head, and they have always helped me to decide what to do next or how to make something that I set my sights on to look and be at its best, which has been a useful skill at the gymnasium and still is while learning at the university. Storytelling is also something that I have since childhood, and I try to make it visible through my written work. I always loved discovering and reading about interesting people and facts that I have never heard before.

What has been the most fulfilling + satisfying project that you have worked on and
why?

Probably the most fulfilling and satisfying project that I have worked on recently was creating my portfolio for the university’s assignments for this year (currently, I am a second-year journalism student at the University of Westminster). It was extremely intriguing and challenging at the same time to try my abilities of storytelling through other ways of doing it, such as videos, audio pieces, pictures and long-form story writing. I realised that I am capable of more things than I thought in the past, and I definitely want to sharpen these newly gained skills in the future.

What are your goals for this year and next year career wise?

For this year, I would love to find a stable place where I will be allowed to have creative freedom in terms of topics and where it will be possible for me to constantly try and learn new things in terms of storytelling. Hopefully, SCTR is that finally-discovered place. Also, I would love to be accepted into an internship and sharpen or gain new skills in this way. Another goal of mine would be starting some independent projects where I could apply my multimedia skills and begin a freelance career if I don’t get a chance to work at one of the media organisations. For this and the next year, I hope to write or create more projects about the subjects that I have never worked on previously.

How did you hear about SCTR and what do you think about the brand ethos; to support and nurture young creatives?

One afternoon, while I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, an advertisement announcing the new media platform SCTR popped up in front of my eyes, and I have sent an email that I am interested in writing for them, it was unsuccessful. However, after a second time sending my recent feature, I was told that it fits well into the brand. As a young creative whose ideas already had been rejected by both small and established media outlets, I feel happy and grateful that SCTR emerged, as all artists and journalists who want to work in the industry have to start from somewhere.

What did you like best about the project you have completed recently with SCTR?

I was very pleasantly surprised that a professional photo shoot for my interviewee was arranged, and I was allowed to attend it, as I have never been offered this type of experience before, and it was fascinating. I would love to be a part of more of these types of things in the future, as it gives a unique opportunity of sort of discovering how professional magazines and media outlets operate behind the scenes. Also, everyone in the photo shoot had been polite and easy to talk to, which can sometimes be missing.

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