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Executive Director's Corner

Board Members

Chair and Executive Director

Erika Celeste

Vice Chair

Tim Richardson


Carrie Bubb


Drew Benson

At-Large Members

Maeghan Brass

Marc Cotter

Michael Kouroubetes

Ginger Santiago

Another Year Under Our Belts

(May 2022)

Another year of TBH has almost come and gone! There 2021-22 Season of TBH marked many changes in our lives and program. We started the year still wearing masks in most our schools in Covid uncertain times.  While we hoped we’d make it through the year without another shut down, there were a few close calls that really upset our students. Who knew school and especially broadcast and media classes could be such a lifeline?

While many of our former schools are still in Covid recovery mode, we did have students from nine schools and/ or locations across Northern Indiana that were able to participate in TBH.

For those of you unfamiliar with TBH, we are a nonprofit that goes into schools and organizations across Indiana  helping (and sometimes being) the broadcast media programs. The idea is simple. Each location takes on one half hour episode of TBH. The schools are free to decide how to use that half hour whether it be a news style format, magazine style, short film etc. Then the half hour episodes are gathered and combined into the TBH series. We all use the same open, bug, and similar lower third graphics for continuity. Of course we all follow the same rules of broadcast and the FCC, such as proper sound and color levels, no swearing, and family friendly content. Most importantly all the episodes fall into a subcategory of a greater theme.

This year’s theme was Tales of Americana. The idea was after being cooped up for so long, many of us have developed an appreciation for things we previously were unaware of. We wanted this year to be a celebration of all those things we love, maybe missed, and that we feel makes our schools, state and country great.

It looks like we will have a few new schools joining us this fall for the 22-23 Season. While nothing is set in stone yet, I look forward to working with schools in some of the more rural regions of Indiana. That’s all I can say right now:)

A big thank you to all the students that participated this year. One of our episodes even placed at the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters awards this spring. (It’s a pretty big deal around here!) While many of  our particpating schools are competitors on the field or during media competitions, I like to remind everyone that we make each other better by holding each other to a higher standard! Just looking back to videos at the beginning of this school year, it’s easy to see how much everyone has grown both physically and in talent. I’m so proud of you all.

Thank you also to all our great principals, teachers, site coordinators, volunteers, and donors. We really couldn’t do it without you.

With great wishes for the coming year,

Erika Celeste

Premiere of TBH First Season Message

    "Wow!” Is all I can say. How were any of us to know that just six short months after TBH was founded COVID-19 would shut down schools, close gathering places, and forever change our lives in ways none of us could have imagined? Yet through it all the students of TBH persevered!

     Despite schools in northern Indiana closing in March of 2020, most of the groups slated to take part in TBH’s premiere season were far enough along to see their episodes through. In some cases, they had to get creative with b-roll, using stop animation, whiteboard drawing, or dress rehearsal footage.

     In other cases, there simply wasn’t enough content to meet the needed 26 minutes and 46 seconds for a full PBS episode and so groups combined or shared work to meet the required time. Still in other cases where projects fell short of the required time, they found new life on TBH’s social media pages as web extras.

     Though in many cases, we didn’t get the time to finesse episodes to our liking, or even do final edits, make audio and video changes, considering everything that we were facing, I’m very proud of the TBH students and their accomplishments.

     Because TBH is meant to be an outlet and  platform for teens to express their perspectives, many went above and beyond their original commitment, to discuss and create additional pieces on COVID-19. The response was so overwhelming that 2 additional webisodes on the topic Quarantine and The New Normal, were created, which can be seen under the TBH “Media” tab as well as on our social media pages.

     From the bottom of my heart, I wish to thank each and every student, teacher, volunteer, and donor for their generous gifts of talent, tenacity, and financial support. In a time when many things have not survived, TBH has made it! Thank you all so very much for your generous support in so many ways.

TBH Launch Message

          There are two kinds of projects in this world, those that must be done and labors of love. To Be Honest, Inc. is both. I’m very pleased to see how quickly everything has come together. In less than a year’s time, the talented students of Riley and Adams High Schools created a pilot TV show, we formed a board and incorporated, and found a fiscal sponsor, were paired with a terrific media partner to air the TBH series, and are now collaborating with 13 high schools across northern Indiana to create that series.

            I have been surprised and delighted at every turn to not only witness the creativity of the students but the level of insight, integrity, and commitment to the issues that interest them. Teens of every generation, quite possibly since the time of cave people, have been characterized by adults as wild, uncaring rebels who “just have it too easy.” Of course that’s usually followed by something about walking uphill both ways to school in three feet of snow! I wish I could go back in time to anyone who’s ever uttered such a phrase  and show them the TBH Series. Seeing these episodes not only provides insight into today’s youth, but restores faith in humanity.

            I’d like to take a moment to thank the TBH Board, without whom none of this would be possible. I’d also like to thank all the teachers who continue to help keep this project on track. You are the true unsung heroes. My deepest appreciation and many thanks for all your hard work. And our heartfelt gratitude to WFWA for allowing such an inspirational group of students to share their work with the larger community.

            Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” By helping students become better storytellers and in turn hearing their stories, we all become better educated. Northern Indiana should be extremely proud of its insightful, caring, and talented teens.

            The world is in good hands with this coming generation of filmmakers, journalists, social activists, teachers, community organizers, and whatever other careers these gifted students may dream up.

I can’t wait to see what they do next!


With every good wish,


Erika Celeste


Executive Director, Erika Celeste

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