Thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Digital Media Academy, Kieran Owens recently got to live a dream…spending a week at DMA animation camp!

Kieran Owens is your average 10-year-old from Appleton, Wisconsin, but with a key difference: He suffers from a chronic disease called juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), which can cause painful skin conditions and weakening muscle inflammation.

But thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Digital Media Academy, Kieran’s summer has gotten a whole lot better.

He’s just finished a fun week exploring his love of animation at DMA’s Stanford University tech camp location.

Dream It…and Be It!
The Make-a-Wish Foundation is famous for helping sick kids fulfill all types of personal dreams.

In Kieran’s case, he knew exactly what wish he wanted to come true—to create a cartoon. Kieran did his homework, researching animation camps online and discovered DMA’s Adventures in Animation camp at Stanford had everything he was looking for:

Creative Freedom. Kieran liked that DMA instructors let you create your own character and storyline, instead of being forced to use pre-made characters and stories.
Professional Software Tools. Kieran got to use the same software program that pro animators use (and then receive a copy of his finished project at the end of the course).
Courses Grouped by Age and Skill. At DMA, beginners don’t get let behind, students are grouped together by age and skill level. Kieran was able to produce a cartoon with no previous ev

Was Kieran’s family proud of the cool things he learned and accomplished during his dream week at DMA camp? You bet!

A Chance to Meet the Pros
A week at DMA is a whirlwind of fun activities. Kieran had days packed with intense animation instruction, along with recreational activities and downtime for making new friends.

“It was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot,” he says now. “Even more than I expected. I really enjoy drawing. And being able to make my drawings come to life was great.”

During one classroom session, Kieran even got to meet and talk with a real, professional animator, which is what he plans to become. He’s really into Disney animation and enjoyed “The LEGO Movie” for its cool use of stop-motion animation.

As for his dream week at camp coming true, Kieran had only praise for DMA. “I think it’s a lot of fun and really cool,” he says. “DMA can help you create things…like cartoons.”

Digital Media Academy appreciates the participation of the Make-a-Wish Foundation for its efforts to make something wonderful happen for Kieran Owens, a very cool kid and the latest proud member of DMA’s alumni family.