Fun and Positivity

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 View Comments Lou Melgarejo

 

“Fun and positivity.”

That was the mantra for the Nichole337 project. We wanted to help raise autism awareness and I wanted to do something nice for a person that I admired greatly for her passion for doing what she liked to do while not letting the cyber-bullies get to her.

For those that have not had the privilege of meeting Nichole, all I can tell you is that you will never meet a nicer more demure young lady. She is clearly the offspring of involved and caring parents who have taught her all of the right lessons in life. You can’t help but falling in love with Nichole the second you meet her. She is humble, friendly, smart and funny. I felt so honored for being afforded the opportunity to work with her.

This project would have never been made possible however without the help of a few people that were willing to work within my budget… for free. So many things just fell into place to make this project happen, that it makes you scratch your head. So I would like to thank the people that helped to make this project a success and tell you a little bit about them.

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Nichole337 started her YouTube channel in 2008. When she started she never imagined that it would evolve into what it has become. At first Nichole covered songs from various popular artists. She knew she wasn’t the best singer, but she loved singing. She showed her videos to a few friends and noticed her subscribers jumping from 1 to 10 to 1,000. To date Nichole has close to 150,000 subscribers.

As her popularity increased, Nichole came to the realization that she could produce video blogs about various causes and help a wide range of people.  One subject that Nichole feels very strongly about is Anti-Bullying. Having been bullied, Nichole could relate closely and deliver a message from a unique perspective. With reports of suicides due to bullying in the news and an awareness that there are many more than what you hear about in the news, Nichole has tackled bullying head-on.

“I feel bullying shouldn’t happen at all. So I try to spread that message along with telling those who are victims of bullying to stay strong, be themselves and know that people do care about them. They shouldn’t let the words of others and bullying cause the loss of their life.”

Nichole has a form of high functioning autism and for the longest time had contemplated making a video about letting her subscribers know of her diagnosis. She was hesitant for fear of the video not going well and being judged by others. She knew however, that she could not let those fears stop her from delivering her message, raising autism awareness and helping others. Nichole also didn’t want to feel like she was hiding her autism diagnosis. She knew lots of people had ASD and that there was nothing wrong with it… so she produced an autism awareness video. Nichole has been flattered by the positive comments on her awareness video, particularly the ones describing how it has helped an individual or somebody they know. To date, Nichole’s Autism Awareness video has been viewed over ONE MILLION times, delivering her message to a wide range of people. The experience has been very rewarding for Nichole.

Nichole is planning on becoming a motivational speaker. She wants to take her anti-bullying message to schools so that she can help as many people as possible. Knowing that she has made a difference in somebody’s life means the world to Nichole. When people tell Nichole that they started an anti-bullying club in their school, inspired by her… Nichole feels that it is, “So awesome!”==============================

Rob Duffin is a recording engineer and owner of Annex Recording in Draper, Utah. He has been recording music for 16 years, and has worked with hundreds of local and national artists including Aaron Gilespie and Justin Bieber. Because Rob has family members who have autism, he recognizes the value of increasing autism awareness. He is honored to be involved in this effort.

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Donny Shawn is a producer/editor with nearly 20 years of video and film production experience. He’s worked on everything from independent short films, to nationally airing commercials, to live TV series, and is currently in development on three culturally uplifting series. Donny’s particularly fond of projects like this one – projects that showcase courageous people like Nichole and reveal the beauty of humanity.

So thank you to Nichole for being a bright light in a world that can seem so dark.

Thank you to Rob for responding so enthusiastically to an email from a stranger and graciously donating the time and space at Annex Recording.

Donny Shawn, thank you for taking time away from your family to work on this project. I know how busy you were and you made a very simply shot project look spectacular.

A big thanks also to my old friend Steve Veasey for loaning me his Canon 7D free of charge.

I hope that you enjoy our project. Please support Nichole by going to www.youtube.com/nichole337