November 14, 2011

For HVCC student and filmmaker, faith in God is an important part of her life

Date published: 10/01/2011
Publication: Albany Times Union

Madena Henderson: Freshman at Hudson Valley Community College in independent studies. The 18-year-old graduated from Lansingburgh High School in June and works part time at Price Chopper. She lives with her aunt and uncle, Joycelyn and MacArthur Henderson and three cousins, Jasmine Dence, 9, Jeffrey Dence, 8, and Joshua Henderson, 6, on Sixth Avenue near where she worships at the Missing Link Street Ministry at 101st Street led by Pastor Willie Bacote.

Documentary debut: Henderson joined the Youth Media Alliance at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, which is across the street from her church. Her nine-minute documentary, “The Haves and the Have-Nots,” is in the national competition Project VoiceScapes sponsored by PBS, POV and Adobe Youth.

What role does faith have in your life?

It’s not so much religion as it’s God that’s very important to me. My faith in God gets me through the day. You have to have faith in something. I’ve been coming to the Missing Link Ministry for three years. It’s important to come to church and be involved. It’s a way to give back to the community. I help feed the children.

What brought you to documentary filmmaking?

Pastor got me involved with the Sanctuary for Independent Media. The Youth Media Alliance and the Missing Link work together. I love movies. My favorite is “Remember the Titans.” We made “Rough Cut North Troy” about the people, the teens in North Troy and what we’re searching for in our neighborhood.

How did you come to make “The Haves and the Have-Nots”?

I worked with Ellie Markovich and Brenda Miller at the Sanctuary as mentors. The idea came when I was filling out college applications and saw how expensive colleges could be. We submitted the idea to PBS about the cost of college. Out of more than 200 they chose 15. I honestly didn’t think too much that my idea would be selected. We submitted the idea and started working on it. I was extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to make this video. PBS is selecting three videos as winners. My high school asked me to come and speak and to show the film.

What is your concept for the film?

I’m in front of the camera for the video. My mission, what I wanted to say, is if you think that finishing your education might be too expensive, you should still go after your dream. The documentary shows me doing that. If I go to a community college for two years, I would save so much money.

How has your faith influenced the video?

That’s a big part of it. God blessed me with the opportunity to make this video. It shows me feeding the children. God put the church in my life for a purpose. Feeding the children is a major focus. The video is to feed you mentally and spiritually. This video makes you not to want to give up.

What’s your future path?

I want to graduate from Hudson Valley Community College and go to a four-year college to finish. I love Hudson Valley. I want to become a RN and a nurse practitioner either in the emergency room or in obstetrics.

— Kenneth C. Crowe II

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