Hello, my name is Nicholas Forgue. I’m an aspiring film maker and have been a marketing intern at the Arc of Monroe for over half a year. If the incredibly stiff and robotic writing style wasn’t enough to tip you off, I am autistic. In fact, one of the reasons that I was interested in an internship with the Arc was its’ dedication to providing care and services to neurodivergents; a group which is either looked down upon or ignored. I’m very passionate about social justice, particularly when it comes to the protection and equal treatment of neurodivergent individuals. My time working at the Arc has shown me that not only do the people who work here take their jobs seriously but that they also share strong friendships and empathy with the people who they help day to day.
I first began working at the Arc last June after the end of my Spring Semester. I was looking for jobs which would give me experience in film shooting/editing, and the Arc had a position as a marketing intern. My job was deceptively simple; go out and shoot footage of the various Arc buildings and services, film interviews with staff and service recipients, and then edit all of this information into a coherent and meaningful narrative. Luckily for me, the majority of the promotional videos I’ve made didn’t require me to dig very deep to find meaningful moments or words. Most people we (me and my manager) have interviewed know exactly what they want to say and how to say it because they do care about the work they do. Feedback is also immediate. Once I show my boss my drafts, she tells me what she likes, what I should change, until we finally settle on a version we like.
During my time working at the Arc, I’ve made about twenty projects for the Arcs’ YouTube and social media pages. My favorite ones so far have to be my video for being a vehicle operator, and my video on the Community Habilitation program. All of these videos involve one or more people being interviewed discussing different perspectives on their work and what their programs have to offer people. It was challenging to balance a minimum of three different voices and to try and give all of them equal prominence and show what they had to say. In the end I managed to make something that was not only emotionally resonant with the values of the Arc, but something that was also ambitious for me to finish. I feel that my time at the Arc has allowed me to grow not only as a videographer and editor, but also as a story teller. It’s relatively easy to present one’s own voice, but my experiences at the Arc have taught me how to faithfully and respectfully present the voices of others.
I’ve formed many meaningful friendships with my coworkers while working here at the Arc. Every day I come in everyone in our office talks with each other about their family and home life, telling jokes and stories in between making plans for future projects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this personable work environment is unique to the Arc, but it is a nice change of pace from the average retail job. I feel like not only is my work meaningful and fulfilling, but it is also appreciated by the Arc and its staff.
Nicholas Forgue is a contractor in the Marketing & Communications Department at the Arc of Monroe.