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Santa Clara Sisters Promote Social Change with YouTube Channel

Santa Clara Sisters Promote Social Change with YouTube Channel

Santa Clara sisters Rebekah and Emily Uyleman searched on YouTube for channels that focused on creating positive change in the world. They didn’t find too many channels with this theme so the girls decided to construct their own YouTube channel. Create Change, at www.createchangekids.com, currently showcases videos of the Uyleman sisters helping the homeless, crafting a Do It Yourself project with autumn leaves, donning Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump masks for a comedic skit, and reflecting on their personal goals after the recent November election.

“Emily and I are hoping that this channel will inspire others to also create a difference,” says Rebekah Uyleman, 14. “I edit the videos and make the thumbnails. I make sure the music we use is copyright free. I’ve been doing video editing since I was very little. I started with a program called iMovie. It has a bunch of templates you can use for trailers. Or you can do an actual movie and add clips. Now I have a MacBook and it’s much better. I’ve also learned how to do editing by going to a place called DY (Discovery Youth) at the Children’s Discovery Museum. I learned from my mom too. My mom always films us.”

In Create Change’s video “Creating Care Bags for Homeless,” the Uyleman sisters purchased items from a store and assembled care bags for the homeless. Inside the bags were socks, hats, ravioli, combs, brushes, tissues, Q-tips, toothbrushes and a motivational message. In the video “Creating Awareness [in] San Francisco,” the girls brought these care packages to San Francisco and distributed them to the homeless.

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“I had to blur out faces in the video to respect the recipients’ privacy,” Rebekah Uyleman says. “It takes a bit of nerve and courage to go out and do this. I had to feel safe. At the end of it all, it felt great to know my sister and I made a difference in some way.”

“I think it’s important to help the homeless because we’re so blessed,” says Emily Uyleman, 11. “All these people have homes and the homeless don’t and it’s important to help those who are less fortunate in the world. A couple of months ago, we went to this place [with most of my family]. We met this homeless lady. We heard her story and we helped her buy some new shoes and groceries.”

Because of the tension revolving around this year’s presidential election, the girls published a video before the election with the goal in mind that regardless of what the election results were, they could still create peace and change.

“We were in Disneyland and we thought we should do a video about Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton,” Emily Uyleman says. “We had our costumes with us and just did it.”

Earlier in December, the Uyleman sisters attended Santa Clara’s community mixer for the closing celebrations of the Annual Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. Here they received an award from non-profit organization Joy of Sewa (joy of selfless service to humanity) for their efforts to create social awareness through Create Change. The award, given to selected Sikh and non-Sikh filmmakers, was presented by community member Harbir Kaur Bhatia.

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