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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

“Davis boy publisher” completes his latest project

“I Heart College” is a brief documentary recently completed by Davis-bred David Johnson.

The documentary focuses on informing viewers about college and the reasons to go to college. A couple students and a faculty member from UC Davis are interviewed in it, and there are a number of references to UC Davis.

Johnson himself “hearts” college, and said that his time living in Davis inspired much of his success.

“Ever since I was young, I would go to the UC Davis campus. I would even go to classes,” Johnson said.

The city and college have always been important to him, and both are the biggest inspirations in his decision to make a documentary.

“Davis plays a major role in pretty much everything I’ve accomplished. I began playing basketball in Davis, I began writing in Davis,” Johnson said.

Johnson started his own publishing business, Davis Boy Publishing, several years ago, and named it after the city he grew up in. He has published several books, had a few short ventures into professional basketball and says he attributes much of his motivation to his time spent in the City of Davis and on the UC Davis campus.

However, Johnson said that he believes success is linked to having certain knowledge, including information about college.

“There’s so many kids that don’t know anything about college,” Johnson said. “They don’t know about academic scholarships or studying for the SATs or recommendation letters.”

Johnson said the documentary is aimed at young people in general. Its goal is to give a broad overview of the benefits of going to a university. He hopes to motivate children to learn about higher education and to eventually decide to go, as well as to help the people who are already planning to go and are confronting different struggles.

“There’s other kids that grew up in families where college is mandatory,” Johnson said. “Young adults are put under a lot of stress, ‘you have to go to this university, you have to graduate.’ I wanted to make this doc to kind of ease their fears.”

Johnson said he hopes to get people knowledgeable about and attracted to college when they are young. He wants to reach people before they get into the mindset that college isn’t an option or might not be for them.

These efforts start at the grade school level, and Johnson has already claimed his first victory for the documentary. Kris Corey, superintendent for the Fairfield-Suisun School District, said she was impressed by the documentary and plans to incorporate it into the classrooms in her district.

“We have a number of schools that are in the No Excuses University Network. It’s perfect for them to show this video for promoting college for all students,” Corey said.

The No Excuses University Network is a program in which teachers commit to preparing children for college. Corey will be distributing Johnson’s documentary to principals and administrators at these schools.

The documentary showcases an assortment of individuals in various stages of life. UC Davis students and staff talk about their experiences in school. Others give the reasons they went to college and why they are glad they did, discussing their current jobs. Some mention the necessity of education and learning specific skills to make a good living. Others talk about how college has made them a better person overall, providing them with the ability to network and communicate well with other people.

Minus a few, the selection of interviews was designed to appear random. Johnson said he believes the randomness gives the documentary a more authentic feel and a greater variety so that his viewers can see the message from different perspectives.

“My goal is to reach everyone, but I know that adults kind of fall into their own mindset,” Johnson said.

For Johnson, the success of his documentary will mean the successful spread of knowledge he feels privileged to have.

“A lot of people want to hold their information to themselves, but in reality [that’s] not benefiting anyone,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s longtime friend, Liz Chalfont, wasn’t surprised to hear he had made a documentary. According to her, he is living up to his beliefs about spreading knowledge to everyone.

“He has a lot to say, a lot to tell people and a lot of encouragement to give to anyone that will listen,” Chalfont said.

 

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