HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a two-week summer course at Quinnipiac University teaching high school students about television news. It’s called Ability Media, and the focus is on the ability of people to overcome any challenge.
“I’m part of my school news program right now,” said 16 year-old Olivia Dizes of Wethersfield. “I’m actually the production manager, which is like the director, and I really wanted to get a more in-depth view of what the film industry is really like.”
She is one of the high school students learning about the business from Quinnipiac University professor in resident Dave Stevens.
“We had a lot of interest and we’ve got 17 amazing kids that want to learn how to do TV and production and editing and all those amazing things that we can teach them,” Stevens said.
Stevens is a seven-time Emmy Award winning broadcaster…who just happens to have been born with no legs. That did not stop him from playing varsity sports and having a successful career in TV. The dean of Quinnipiac’s school of communications saw his passion and knew he should be teaching.
“We need to get him in front of students, showing that you really can do anything if you put your mind to it,” said Chris Roush, Dean of the Quinnipiac University School of Communications.
Stevens is much more than an inspirational figure. He is also a fierce advocate for people with disabilities, and he brings that to this summer program, It focuses on people who are overcoming disabilities, and telling stories about people overcoming disabilities.
“People with disabilities are the biggest minority in the United States, but we don’t get to have days and gatherings and protests because we’re the silent minority, because people, they shun us,” Stevens said.
Not at Quinnipiac, they don’t. Students in the summer course are learning as much as they can from him.
“It’s really cool to meet him, just to see how determined he is in everything he does,” said Dizes. “No matter what he’s doing in life, he never stops until he gets it.”
“What more can I do than give back and teach and give them the visual look like, ‘Hey, you can do anything you want to do in life, even if you have a setback,'” Stevens said.
And what’s better than learning how to tell stories from a guy with such an amazing story himself?