A local girl is inspiring teens to follow their dreams as part of a new YouTube show filmed in Victoria.
Thirteen-year-old Mya Hewstan-Gates is the host of Verse, a roughly 10-minute YouTube show, featuring interviews with guests from all walks of life from sports to science.
The first three episodes feature guests like MMA fighting champion Jason Heit, trauma surgeon Dr. Alex Mihailovic and most recently, Victoria-born NHL player Geoff Courtnall.
The show also includes a “did it” session, filmed in a studio on Rock Bay Avenue, where Hewstan-Gates had the opportunity to learn basic mixed martial arts moves, hockey skills and stablize someone's neck at the scene of an accident.
Since the show launched in October, the three episodes have been viewed nearly 800 times.
“We're really focused on inspiring people to have a successful journey in life and find work that they really want to do,” Hewstan-Gates said. “There's so many different jobs out there that people don't really know about.”
The Lansdowne Middle School student and aspiring actress originally came up with the idea for the show a year ago with her aunt Chanone Smith, who is a producer at Stylux Studio.
“We want kids to explore all facets and ideas to get kids to think about their future, consider things and try some stuff on,” Smith said.
“I'd like them (guests) to answer what is in their toolbox. It's more than just going to school, they have skills, dreams, desires, passions and maybe give some answers in an entertaining and inspiring way so that teens can learn from that.”
The show has inspired Hewstan-Gates as well. After a segment with the quantum physicist, she said she may consider that as a career.
“I like it because I get to learn a lot about new things, which I really enjoy. Every time we do an interview, new things always come up and it's just so inspiring to find out more about different people's paths to their jobs,” Hewstan-Gates said.