Client Spotlight - Ann Richards School



Interview with Mike Guerrero
Communications and Events Manager
Ann Richards School Foundation


Could you please describe the mission of the Ann Richards School?

MG: Sure, I work for the Ann Richards School Foundation, which supports the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, an all-girls college prep public school here in town. The foundation was put in place to help support the students, because the majority of them, over 75%, are from a lower socioeconomic background. A lot of them are first generation college bound and Governor Richards wanted to make sure that there was funding in place and that those girls had the opportunity to go to college. So we’re there to make sure they are able to apply, attend, and graduate from college.

What is the connection between One Story Productions and the Ann Richards School Foundation?

MG: The last couple of instances we’ve worked with One Story Productions was for our main fundraiser, the Gala. A big component of our Gala is student led interviews with celebrities - last year we had Lily Tomlin fly into Austin – and Aaron helped us out with coordinating.

What benefits would you say that working with One Story brought to the Gala?

MG: When we got a new Executive Director, we had to ‘sell’ One Story to her. Aaron came in and took all of her ideas and multiplied them in terms of the understanding, showing the confidence of “I can make this and more” and bringing his own ideas to the table too. I thought that was a huge selling point – he puts in the effort to understand the mission. Each year that I’ve worked on a project with him the video that we’ve made, the Executive Director has called it “best one yet” and this year was no exception!

Our Gala is very student oriented and that amplifies the experience for the donors, because they get know the girls and see their poise. That’s because Aaron makes them comfortable behind the camera. It’s a hard thing to get people to feel that they can be who they are on camera, but these girls kept true to who they are and reflected upon what the school meant to them. I attribute that to the fact that Aaron understands them. He calms everyone in the room down. We call it the Aaron Weiss factor!

Why should businesses, foundations, or other organizations consider working with a videographer?

MG: Having a continuing relationship with a video company means that we can dive deeper into the mission of the school for each project. That’s a huge hurdle for our mission because people can read about how the school works, but our biggest hook to get people involved is to get them to ‘meet’ the girls. The girls tell the story and we’re just there to facilitate it. I think Aaron and One Story gets that and they take that idea and see the infinite possibilities because every girl’s story is different. They could just step in and throw up statistics for people to see, but there is so much more than that. They have confidence and they’re open to any kind of feedback and have been a great collaborator.

What’s next for the Ann Richards School Foundation and One Story?

MG: Our 10-year anniversary is coming up this year and we’ve had conversations with Aaron about the pitch we want to make to our principal. There’s a lot of good content to use and he will make sure there’s a story behind all of it. While some of these projects can come off as impersonal, Aaron adds the heart to it!

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