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DENTON (CBS11) – A foster care teen we’ll call Cindy,  is getting a chance to do something she hasn’t had a lot of experience doing: sharing her feelings thanks to a new program at The University of North Texas.

“I don’t like sharing my ideas or my personality with a lot of people because then sometimes they make fun of you for who you are,” she said.

UNT and Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home put together a program pairing college students studying video production with foster care residents.

They work in small groups with one of the teens building a storyboard to flesh out the message they want to convey in the short video. They then videotape and edit the idea into a production they’ll post online, use to show case workers and perspective parents. The 16 college students give the 20 teens the tools to create a video story from a viewpoint most never hear.

“It gives me a chance to speak my mind instead of holding it in,” Cindy said. There have been a lot of rough patches but this is the best opportunity we’ve gotten to work with people like this and tell the story we want to tell.”

Often the stories end with a child removed from a broken home. But here the focus is on what the teenager carries into the future.

“It’s going to be about how people take things for granted,” she explained. “I would always complain to my parents that I didn’t have the newest stuff that everybody else had and people would make fun of me because i didn’t have the newest clothes or new shoes or new phone. And after not being with them I realized I do have enough in my life.”

She also said her lessons in life didn’t stop at appreciating what you have.

“If you hold grudges, no one else cares,” Cindy said. “You’re the only one that’s angry about that stuff, you know? So I feel like everybody should be forgiven. Forgiveness.”

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