ACT Foundation


ACT Foundation



ACT Foundation selected the first 12 and then an additional 6 members of the Working Learners Advisory Council through a process of soliciting and sifting nominations from stakeholders and practitioners. They asked Purple States to film with them all.


The Working Learners Advisory Council

  • Nicolas D’Antonio
  • Anthony Davis
  • Nicholas Gerber
  • Yadira Gurrola
  • Alan Jimenez
  • Morgan Lamborn
  • Noreen Lopez
  • Jennifer Quaye
  • David Rivera
  • Krista Scott
  • Jody Stroble
  • Crystal Wallace

ACT Foundation Staff

  • Greg Haley
  • Jennifer Horn-Frasier
  • Parminder Jassal
  • Toby Kyte
  • Justine Zimmer


A combination of professional and self-filmed footage. We filmed interviews with the first 12 members of the WLAC, and ACT Foundation staff, at the April 2014 meeting that launched the Advisory Council. We trained the WLAC at the April session, and guided them as they filmed various aspects of their lives over the next six months.


ACT Foundation convened the Advisory Council to ground its work in the real-life experiences of working learners. The video narratives produced with the members of the Council will fuel the Foundation’s communications campaign, anchor its research, and inform understanding of the issue among partners and stakeholders.


ACT Foundation commissioned and funded the production.

Editorial Control

With input from Purple States, the Foundation framed the series as a whole. The Foundation signed off on the content of each segment.


  • Executive Production by Cynthia Farrar
  • Produced, directed, and edited by Cinnamon Kennedy
  • Filmed by the featured students
  • Professional videography by John Richard, Iowa City; Christopher York, Austin; and Cameron Pearce, Austin
  • Voiceover by Liz Aiello

What is a Working Learner?

Twelve Working Learners from different parts of the country explain why they chose this path, why it's difficult, and why it's rewarding.

ACT Anniversary Video

A distillation of the ACT Foundation's ambitious goals to help young working learners get a foothold in today's economy, as explained by the foundation's directors.


What’s the role of mentors in helping people embark on or persevere in their working/learning journey? This segment features two members of the WLAC. A formal mentoring program helped Alan find an internship that would pay for college. Anthony relied on Terrance to help him find the self-confidence to reach for a different life.


What kinds of changes in the workplace, the classroom, or their self-perception would help working learners make the most of both education and work?

Life Satisfaction

What is ‘life satisfaction’? Is it something that happens now or in the future? How are the practical choices working learners are making right now shaped by their understanding of life satisfaction?

Informal Learning

What’s the value of learning skills that aren’t directly relevant to a course of study or career track? The working learners share the hands-on experiences that make them more employable.

Meet Alan

Meet Krista

In this video, Krista discusses the necessity of planning her weekly activities to ensure things get done and to keep her priorities front and center – even if it means putting off her social life for the greater goal. Krista is a member of ACT Foundation’s Working Learner Advisory Council.

Meet Nick D.

In this video, Nick discusses his hectic schedule of full-time work and full-time learning. Though his parents think he's overstressed, he says the key to having enough energy every day is "planning". Nick also serves on the ACT Foundation Working Learner Advisory Council.

Meet Yadi

Yadira Gurrola is a member of ACT Foundation's Working Learner Advisory Council. In this video, she discusses the challenges of growing up in a small town, the perception of Hispanic women in her community, and her determination to set an example for other girls.

Meet Noreen

In this video, Noreen gives us a glimpse of the struggles faced by many working learners. “Balancing work and school is easy,” she explains. But the toll it can take on your family life can be “draining”. Noreen also serves on ACT Foundation’s Working Learner Advisory Council.

Meet Nick

Nicholas Gerber is a member of ACT Foundation's Working Learner Advisory Council. In this video, he candidly discusses the challenges of being an unemployed working learner while pursuing his dream of starting his own menswear line.

Meet Morgan

A member of ACT Foundation’s Working Learner Advisory Council, Morgan is no stranger to the world of working learners as she fondly remembers accompanying her mother to university classes. Striving for balance helps her realize her capabilities, as she explains in this revealing video.

Meet Jody

In this video, we get a glimpse of the day-to-day challenges Jody faces as a working learner and single mother. Yet, she somehow takes it all in stride knowing she is setting a positive example for her young son. Jody also serves on ACT Foundation's Working Learner Advisory Council.

Meet Jennifer

For Jennifer, earning a college degree was “a necessity”, and being a working learner was part of that necessity. She encourages working learners to learn more about each other for their own benefit and support. Jennifer also serves on ACT Foundation’s Working Learner Advisory Council.

Meet David

For David, working and learning creates a fair amount of anxiety. But despite his hectic schedule with little time off, he smiles and insists “it’ll definitely be worth it one day”. David also serves on ACT Foundation’s Working Learner Advisory Council.

Meet Crystal

Meet Anthony

Anthony, a member of ACT Foundation's Working Learner Advisory Council and budding anthropologist, openly shares how pressure and criticism has actually motivated him to do well and succeed in life.