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People of Point Park: April Yanko, '16 found her voice and her magic

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 PPP YankoStudent Spotlight

Major: Double majoring in acting and public relations and advertising
Class Year: 2016
Hometown: Johnstown, Pa.
High School: Westmont Hilltop High school
Campus Activities: Founder and president of the Point Park Feminist Society, resident educator

Creating a Magical Essence

Senior April Yanko dreams of one day becoming a voice actor. Since childhood, she has had a very special connection to the world of animation. Today, when you meet April, this connection is not hard to spot since her daily apparel usually includes a beloved character from one of many animated TV or film creations. As April looks to the future, she finds inspiration in the work of Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, and Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty. She hopes to one day follow in their footsteps as both a creator and a voice actor.

"I like being able to create things that would hopefully have the same effect as they had on me when I was younger."

April has said that whenever a film or any film project is finished, there is a great "magical essence" that appears. She plans to continue to chase that magic after graduation.

Exploring Leadership Through Residence Life

April originally attended Seton Hill University before transferring to Point Park. She was studying acting and communications because she loved to plan events for people. Her detail-oriented approach to communications and events has also made her an effective leader in other situations and definitely allowed for early success as a resident educator at Point Park.

"In residence life, you have a lot of opportunity for self-exploration, and learn how to work with all sorts of different people and learn how to deal with situations that make you uncomfortable."

When April came to Point Park, she had a great community mentor named Christina Gonzalez who became a person that she could always go to in her time of need. April hopes to provide the same experience to other people, especially transfer students like herself. Through her special role as an RE, April has made great friends with those who are looking for someone to talk to about things that might make them uncomfortable.

Establishing a Feminist Community

In addition to her work as an RE, April is also the president and founder of the Point Park Feminist Collective, founded in the fall term of 2015. Tom Snee, one of April's residence life supervisors approached April with the idea. Since April was part of a similar group at Seton Hill, Tom thought she would be a good candidate to start the group here.

April wants her group to be a community around the idea of feminism. While she is not directly teaching people about feminism, she wants to provoke people to ask questions dealing with the matter, as well as organize volunteer opportunities that closely reflect the group's identity.

"My hope is that people who attend our meetings feel like they helped to establish a sense of community and empowerment with their fellow members."

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