Kieran Owens is your average 10-year-old from Appleton, Wisconsin, but with a key difference: He suffers from a chronic disease called juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), which can cause painful skin conditions and weakening muscle inflammation.
But thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Digital Media Academy, Kieran’s summer has gotten a whole lot better.
He’s just finished a fun week exploring his love of animation at DMA’s Stanford University tech camp location.
Dream It…and Be It!
The Make-a-Wish Foundation is famous for helping sick kids fulfill all types of personal dreams.
In Kieran’s case, he knew exactly what wish he wanted to come true—to create a cartoon. Kieran did his homework, researching animation camps online and discovered DMA’s Adventures in Animation camp at Stanford had everything he was looking for:
• Creative Freedom. Kieran liked that DMA instructors let you create your own character and storyline, instead of being forced to use pre-made characters and stories.
• Professional Software Tools. Kieran got to use the same software program that pro animators use (and then receive a copy of his finished project at the end of the course).
• Courses Grouped by Age and Skill. At DMA, beginners don’t get let behind, students are grouped together by age and skill level. Kieran was able to produce a cartoon with no previous ev
A Chance to Meet the Pros
A week at DMA is a whirlwind of fun activities. Kieran had days packed with intense animation instruction, along with recreational activities and downtime for making new friends.
“It was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot,” he says now. “Even more than I expected. I really enjoy drawing. And being able to make my drawings come to life was great.”
During one classroom session, Kieran even got to meet and talk with a real, professional animator, which is what he plans to become. He’s really into Disney animation and enjoyed “The LEGO Movie” for its cool use of stop-motion animation.
As for his dream week at camp coming true, Kieran had only praise for DMA. “I think it’s a lot of fun and really cool,” he says. “DMA can help you create things…like cartoons.”
Digital Media Academy appreciates the participation of the Make-a-Wish Foundation for its efforts to make something wonderful happen for Kieran Owens, a very cool kid and the latest proud member of DMA’s alumni family.