Taking Care of Business: Teens Put Their Talents To Work

Jesse Ingalls, owner of PublishedProductions

You needn’t be an adult to make an impact on the world. Encouraged and guided by parents and teachers, young people can use their education in creative ways: solving global problems, helping out with real-life community projects, or even finding a specialized niche in which to start a business.

Eighteen-year-old North State teen Jesse Ingalls owns and operates a business called PublishedProductions (www.publishedproductions.com) that he started May 2011. His company produces graphic introductions (“intros”) for videos, primarily for use on YouTube. “Intros are short 10-15 second clips that represent a channel’s page or business, used at the start of videos,” he says.

Inspired by movies that use computer-generated imagery (CGI), Ingalls works every day growing his business. CGI is the application of 3D computer graphics to create special effects in movies, video games, commercials and more. Avatar and Toy Story are two common examples of movies using CGI. Ingalls makes $20-$60 per intro and says he has hundreds of clients worldwide. “I love spending a lot of time and creativity in production, and make sure everything I create for my clients is both customized and unique.

Ingalls was raised in the Chico area and attended Pleasant Valley High School until December 2011, when he moved to San Diego where he completed high school through a homeschool program. He recently moved back to Butte County with his family.  He says he grew up with computers and became even more interested in them in the past few years.

His parents, Rick and Jeanette, prioritize supporting Ingalls’ interest. “My parents have really shown me that they care, through the ongoing time and support they have put into my dream,” he says. It is obvious from talking with Ingalls’ parents that they are inspired by his abilities, especially considering his rough start in life – Ingalls was born prematurely at a mere 26 weeks, weighing only 1 pound 14 ounces at birth, and overcame multiple health issues as a baby.

Ingalls says he taught himself about computers, and spent most of his time after school learning more. “I love to talk, teach and build computers,” says Ingalls. His ability and dedication have offered him exciting opportunities. While at Pleasant Valley, Ingalls worked closely with ROP audio-video production teacher Mike Peck, who Ingalls credits with teaching him things he didn’t know. Ingalls says “He taught me how to film with a camera, and he motivated me to go out on my own and strive to build my business.”

“Graphics is what I love doing,” he says. “It is what I am going to keep doing, learning and succeeding in. I am making a career out of this – a career that I enjoy and that has no limits.”

His message to other kids is this: Don’t ever give up no matter how challenging it can be. Mistakes are good, because you learn from them.

(From left to right) Artists Colton Peterson, Marly Adams and Favian Castrejon. Photo: Ruby Hernandez.

Three other creative teens, all students from Corning Union High School, used their talents last winter to decorate the floor mural in the entrance of downtown Corning’s historic Rodgers Theatre. One of the few large single-screen movie theaters remaining in California, it was built in 1935 by the Rodgers family, and was later endowed to the city. The building, which was not up to code, was closed in 2006. Members of the community organized the Corning Community Foundation, a nonprofit (funded by grants) that is organizing the theatre’s renovation. Plans for the theatre not only include its continued use for films, but also for community events.

CUHS art teacher Mendy Beardsley encouraged her advanced art students to enter a contest to paint the 14’x4’ mural. The top three students chosen were Marly Adams, Favian Castrejon, and Colton Peterson. The students combined their designs into one, which represents both the city of Corning and the theater itself. The students incorporated the olive, a film strip, and tragedy/comedy masks into their design, along with the years “1935-2012.”

“It gave us a chance to represent our art class and ourselves and to let the town see what we make out of art,” says Castrejon, a 17-year-old senior.

As an added bonus, each student was awarded $100 each for his or her work.

Adams, also a senior, says, “I love to do art and wanted to do something benefitting the community.” She also enjoys writing, and says that her creativity is inspired by Beatrix Potter, “because she was one of the first women authors of children’s books.” Adams further shares that her interest in art was sparked at a young age by her mother, who often drew pictures with her.

Castrejon says, “I get my inspiration from the different paintings from around the world I look at in my art history class.” He enjoyed working on the project because his talent is recognized by others in the community.

“I love art so much, and try to enter as many contests as I can,” says Peterson, a 16-year-old junior. “My art teacher, Mrs. Beardsley, has found most contests for me to enter, including this one.” Beardsley, who was featured in North State Parent’s “Be the Change” column in Aug. 2011, is known for helping her students gain practical, enriching experiences in and out of the classroom. In mid-January, several students, including Peterson, took a trip to Italy to study art history up close.

Each of these featured local teens serve as an inspiration to kids and adults alike. They are also excellent examples of what happens when teachers and parents take an active interest in the talent of young people around them.

Desiree Gonzalez
About Desiree Gonzalez

Desiree Gonzalez is an author and a mother of two in Chico.

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