Difference Maker | Rachel Bullard, Local Business
I met Rachel 4 years ago at a meet and greet for GGC students. She was a freshman with loads of talent and the sweetest demeanor. I am sad to say that we lost touch shortly after our first greeting, but due to her talent and heart, I still heard about her through mutual friends. This past summer Impact46 wanted to document what was happening with the Summer of Impact and tell the story of Central Gwinnett students. I knew Rachel would be able to do just that: tell a remarkable story through her art and gift of visual storytelling.
I shouldn’t have been, but I was deeply surprised by her investment in the Impact46 intern, Amara. Amara was assigned the task of helping Rachel tell the story. They spent hours together running around in the summer heat capturing photos and video footage of all the interns and Central alumni. Through their time they developed a beautiful friendship as Rachel intentionally, yet naturally, built a relationship with Amara. I loved watching what was happening over a few short weeks and many hours. I asked Rachel to share about her experience from behind the camera as she captured the summer and heard from internship employers, alumni, and student leaders.
Jen: As a photographer and videographer who has worked with some key industry leaders, what made you decide to work with Impact46 and document this project?
Rachel: I saw the importance of what Impact 46 was doing. Impact 46 directly lines up with what I am about, which is telling stories of Truth, and empowering the younger generation and letting them know how valuable they are. The students and everyone touched by Impact 46 has a calling on their lives. I want to see everyone around me walk in healing, hope, freedom, and joy. I know Impact 46 is doing that. It was such an honor to me that I was asked, and am excited to see where this non-profit goes.
Jen: You spent a lot of time with Amara and were always laughing. What was it like to work with a Central Gwinnett student?
Rachel: Amara was such a blast to be around. She has such an excitement about life and people. She also had such a hunger to learn and work hard. Some crazy/unplanned things always happen when working on video projects. It can be really stressful, but she handled it like a pro and worked really hard to fix whatever needed to happen. She has character and I saw her come out of her shell more and more. It was great to have extra help and hear some of her story and passion for her school. I am a HUGE fan of Central Gwinnett now.
Jen: You clearly love telling stories, what is the story you heard as you filmed people?
Rachel: I saw a group of students and a community that have a passion to see their city grow and be all they are called to be. People in government, churches, education, neighborhoods, non-profits, & businesses were all working together to see their community transformed for the better. It was so encouraging for me to see. Many times those different sectors all like to work in their little bubbles, but I saw that when they all come together, how powerful it is. It is how you change a nation and see peace over a city. It's so easy to label people in different sectors, but when they all meet together, and the walls are removed - everyone actually wants the same thing - Peace.
Jen: How do you see future artists participating in Summer of Impact?
Rachel: I'd love to bring my dance, video, and photo friends to these students. Every kid in school wants a good profile pic or quality dance video for Social Media. I think it is important for kids to know the beauty of being creative and what a tool it can be to encourage people and also bring Truth. You don't always have to have a career in it, but you can use your video, dance, or photo skills to bring someone some life and encouragement. I think the arts are so important for growth as a person. I'd love to have some creative walks maybe for some of the students.
Jen: Last question, how do you see collaboration and partnership benefiting the city?
Rachel: I talked a little about it up above. When all the different parts of a city come together, that is when we will see the transformation and healing. Staying in your personal sector is not really an option for change, we all need to partner and collaborate to see the transformation. I love that Impact 46 says the three aspects of community transformation are: prayer, people, and place. We pray, go, we are faithful, expose the dark, call out the Light, we are faithful again, and watch God move.