Valarie Duran grew up in the Bay Area surrounded by her loving Mexican American family, celebration, cameras, and creativity. Fast forward twenty years, she became a first generation college graduate from the University of San Francisco and New York University, with a professional background in media, education, and nonprofit management. She launched English language learning film and drama programs in Macedonia as a Peace Corps volunteer, and later had the incredible opportunity to travel on assignment documenting and guiding youth service learning trips all across the globe. With a camera in hand and students by her side, she zip lined in Costa Rica, walked the ancient Mayan Ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, visited a hilltop castle in Southern France, felt pure passion from flamenco dancers in Spain, and built foundations of three schools in solidarity with Haiti and Malawi. After traveling with purpose, taking action, and being in discovery alongside students, Valarie now works as a photographer and our new Youth and Emerging Media Maker Programs Manager. When she’s not behind the camera or exploring the world, you can find her hiking, learning how to play the ukulele, roller skating, relaxing with yoga, watching films, supporting educational causes, or pouring her heart into her niece and nephew.
This school year, Valarie Duran looks forward to guiding our BAVC Media YEMM team to teach courageously curious youth about reflecting on the world around them through a compassionate lens. Valarie will design and implement year-round filmmaking and media making programs for young people that honors and embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will collaborate on curriculum development and assess student needs, growth, and experiences to build the best programs based on their input. If you are local organizations, production studios, schools, filmmakers, and other artists please get in touch with Valarie. She would love to build a community partnership with you and recruit new teachers, guest speakers, & mentors to work with our youth.