To maintain a sense of community in New York City is not easy, especially for commuter students. Add to this the realities of navigating freshman year, outside of the continuity and familiar infrastructure of high school. For these very reasons, CUNY Crew is a program run by NYC Outward Bound Schools for its alumni, first-year college students navigating the campuses of the City University of New York. Crew members meet weekly with NYC Outward Bound Alumni Manager Sarah Solomon, to collaboratively solve the issues arising from understanding college bureaucracy, planning one’s academic career, and developing a sense of identity as a college student. Since September, in partnership with EdLab at Teachers College, students have been participating in a filmmaking project, in which they will produce four films exploring pre-selected themes related to their well-being, such as belonging in college, academic persistence, planning for a transfer to a four-year college and career planning. Through their time with Sarah and behind the camera with each other, they construct not only their own individual senses of self, but also a community without walls, spread all over the city, tied together by dialogue and storytelling.

A Thousand Stars by Pictures of the Floating World and Light, Livid by Plurabelle