Young entrepreneur creates videos that inspire youth
By Shari Narine
Michael Stemm, 25, a young entrepreneur from Eel Ground First Nation, sees life through the lens of a video camera.
As founder and operator of Down to Earth Productions, Stemm has turned his high school hobby into a business that allows him to not only capture the culture of his own people, but to travel and record the lives of others and then share what he has learned with those back home.
Stemm began making PSA videos in an after school program, touching on such topics as mould prevention, West Nile Virus and fetal alcohol syndrome. Today, he has documented trips to Southeast Asia and Peru, and the total solar eclipse in South Carolina. He plans a month-long tour across Canada, recording visits to national parks, and wants to return to Southeast Asia.
Stemm wants to continue to grow his business with local contracts and working with bigger companies, using his resources to upgrade his equipment and his ability to travel.
“As the company grows we plan on hiring some skilled and talented employees to increase our production quality. Keeping busy by being productive is key for my business, always put out good quality content to show what we are up to and how the business is growing,” said Stemm, who earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of New Brunswick.
His hard work has earned him a nomination to the Cando National Youth Panel
“I feel honoured to have been nominated. Being an active role model in my community has given me a sense of responsibility to set a good example not only to the youth but to the community as a whole. Seeing the kids being inspired and motivated by the videos that I produce gives me a sense of accomplishment that keeps me driven towards my goals,” he said.
Stemm believes that it’s important for youth to have an active and healthy lifestyle. He also holds that the bond with family and friends is important for young people.
And about work, he said, “Discover what you love to do and find a way to monetize it.”
Each year Cando selects six Indigenous youth to form the National Youth Panel, a signature event at the Cando Annual National Conference which will be held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, from Oct. 22-25. Selections for the panel are based on their strengths, initiatives, accomplishments, entrepreneurial spirit, and participation within their communities.