My name is Lauren Henschel, and I am a freshman at Duke University. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida until I recently moved to Durham for school. At Duke, I am hoping to major in Documentary Studies, which I am extremely passionate about. It is in this field that I can use my abilities to put a face on the unknown from behind the lens of my camera. Through the skills I will develop, I hope that I will be able to continue to humanize the experiences of those who are suffering, for those who don’t understand: to work towards promoting a more welcoming society.
Coming into this class, I had never before created a documentary. I knew the technical aspect would be a challenge, but I didn’t realize how much of an emotional attachment I would have to my subject. I started working with Danny the day he was put into his first house and have watched the progression of his life in housing over the past few months. I listened to stories and memories, and was extremely touched by his openness throughout the whole process. Danny has told me many times that I have helped him a lot, but I don’t know if he understands how much he helped me. I am forever grateful for this experience.
I also want to thank Marigny Manson, Housing for New Hope’s outreach nurse, for all of her help and for her contribution to my documentary. In addition, I could not have done this without my professors Alex Harris and Elena Rue for putting up with my emails at all hours of the night and for their guidance in this process.