Jessica Onion

I’m a student from RPI, majoring in Sustainability Studies. I started interning with the Sanctuary in the fall of 2016, and will continue until June of 2017. Some of my academic/community interests include food sovereignty and community resilience. Around here I mostly work in the Collard City Garden. 

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Edison Su

Edison Su(Shengjie Su) is a intern in The Sanctuary.  He is a SUNY-ALBANY student studying Communication and Documentary study.  He is a documentary filmmaker, advertising man, phtographer.  He wants to make the world a better place.  For example, He wants to fight with mess media.  

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Rashawn is a Sophomore at Green Tech High Charter School. This year he’s involved in the Summer Youth Employment Program and works at the Sanctuary for Independent Media. Rashawn is looking forward to learning and experiencing new things. So far he’s learned about the history of North Troy, photography, and politics. The Media Sanctuary has opened him to express is ideas vocally and artistically.

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Sinici is 14 years old. She just graduated from 8th grade. She’s going to begin Troy High School in September. Before school ended she signed up for a Summer job and they placed her at the Sanctuary for Independent Media. She was hired to take care and have more responsibilities.

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Veronica Fuentes is a Junior at Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls. She is 16 years old and was first introduced to the Sanctuary for Independent Media in the summer of 2013. She was hired by the Rensselaer County. By being apart of the Summer Youth Employment Program at the Sanctuary for 2 years Veronica has met many important people.

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Daniel Lopez is 16 years old and he is going to be a Junior at Lansingburgh High School. Daniel likes to play football and dancing. He applied for a summer youth job and he was placed at the Media Sanctuary Alliance and has had a lot of fun. His concern was garbage and we received 12 black city garbage cans but couldn’t place them on the streets.

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Jordan Thomas is a Junior at Green Tech Charter High Charter School. He was hired by the Summer Youth Employment Program by Rensselaer County to bring creativity, artistic ability, and passion to the community. Jordan hopes to gain skills related to photography, media, art, video editing and politics. The Media Sanctuary has opened is eyes to a perspective that can e used throughout every aspect of his future.

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Amarie has been working at The Sanctuary for Independent Media for a year strong now. Amarie is a hardcore member/volunteer of the Youth Media Sanctuary and a very powerful and open-minded individual. He has been active with every aspect of Uptown Summer thus far and has been involved with most of the changes happening in North Central Troy.

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The Thirteenth Assembly

Free Jazz from the Sanctuary is a 13-part series of jazz performance videos featuring some of the world’s most talented improvisers, recorded live in concert at The Sanctuary For Independent Media. Free Jazz from the Sanctuary is a co-production of NY Media Alliance and the Arts Department at Rensselaer, made possible in part with support from the NYS Council on the Arts and the NYS Music Fund,

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Uptown Summer '17

The 7th annual Uptown Summer goes into action full-swing on July 11th. The Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program has chosen ten local teenagers to work at The Sanctuary for Independent Media this year. Over the span of five weeks, our neighborhood youth become community leaders, environmental stewards, media producers, storytelling artists, scientists, researchers, and local volunteers. Fulfilling these diverse roles, the youth and their mentors will create a multimedia documentary called “Echoes from Lock One.”

Here are some of the activities/workshops the youth will be involved in this summer:

Hannah Moran

Hannah Moran is interning at The Sanctuary for Independent Media for her 2017 spring semester. She is a SUNY New Paltz student studying media management. Having grown up in the city of Albany and having a passion for community outreach, she was thrilled when she found a place who does it all so close to home here at The Sanctuary.

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Karina Wojnar

Karina Wojnar is a new addition to the team. She is a Siena College student studying social justice, art, and economics. She is a reader, hiker, writer, and activist. She is from Northern New Jersey and holds strong ties to her Polish roots. She loves creating political and social oriented art. She is an asset to The Sanctuary for Independent Media by contributing to the community,

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Nick Nerolien

Nick Nerolien is a senior at the University at Albany as a double major in Communication and Sociology. He is an intern at the Sanctuary of Independent Media during the Spring of 2017 semester. Nick came to the Sanctuary to gain experience using video editing software, video capturing, and community out reach.

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Zachary Fine

Hello my name is Zack Fine.  I am a senior studying communications at SUNY Albany and I am interning here at the Sanctuary as well. My favorite book series is The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien is favorite author as well.  I am from Long Island,

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Kelsey Pirnak

Tessa Russell

 Tessa Russell is a high school senior at Ichabod Crane.  She is taking her entire senior year at Hudson Valley Community  College, hoping to get a head start on her teaching degree.   Tessa’s Social Problems professor requested that her students  get internships with organizations that are positively affecting  the community.  Tessa chose The Sanctuary and is very  excited to participate Nature Lab as well as document events.

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Abandoned Building Haikus

“Abandoned Building Haikus” were created, in collaboration with the “Breathing These Words” poetry workshop, led by Danielle Colin Charlestin with Nancy Klepsch.



Take Me Back

Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy. Youth producers created four documentary portraits on the theme of abandoned buildings in their economically devastated neighborhoods.

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Breathing These Words Video Haikus

Sadie's Grandma's House

Sadie’s Grandmother’s House,” by Sadie Anson, with Media Mentor/Editor Kathy High, recounts restoring a vacant building into a loving home.


Meet Sadie! (click on her photo to hear audio interview)


Youth Media Sanctuary teaches multimedia skills to young people in North Troy.

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