Whiz Kid: Reid Davenport
Age: A 21-year-old Bethel native and college student attending the George Washington University, majoring in journalism and mass communications.
What Makes Reid Awesome:
He is fearless and has drive to achieve the goals that he sets in his life.
As a person with cerebral palsy who uses an electric wheelchair to get around, Reid experiences the daily obstacles that people who use wheelchairs face.
Reid said he started exploring how he could combine the journalism skills he has acquired academically and professionally with his experiences as a person with a disability.
Like many college students, Reid wanted to study abroad in Europe, but after lots of applications and paperwork, he was denied by his program because of the lack of wheelchair accessibility. Because of this, he decided to find a way to travel to Europe and make a documentary to search "for reasons why such a modern society hasn’t felt the need to accommodate its disabled citizens and how they cope with these obstacles."
"My exploration (to film a documentary) started after I was firmly discouraged by a study abroad program that I had been accepted into to study in Italy because of the lack of accessibility there," Reid said. "Since then, I have received a grant from my university to make a documentary on accessibility in Europe. The documentary, however, is just one aspect of the awareness I intend to bring to people with disabilities."
Reid and his cameraman, Chris Barnett will begin their journey in January 2012. Chris graduated from George Washington University a few years ago and does camera work for a living. Their trip length depends on how much money is raised.
The grant Reid received only covers travel expenses for about a week and he needs between two and three weeks in Europe to complete the project.
"We already have several interviews lined up for January with leading disability advocates and plan on profiling several European citizens who use wheelchairs to find out how they get around on a daily basis," Reid said on his website. "Your donations will allow us to shoot those extra days, as we travel everywhere from Brussels to Paris on our quest for accessibility in Europe."
To view a trailer for Reid's documentary or to donate to the cause, visit this link.