South High grad overcomes depression through video


It’s not often high school students graduate, with plans to immediately go to work, starting their own business.

17’s Tabatha Mills introduces us to soon-to-be South High School graduate, Heidi Caldera, whose story is just beginning.

It’s a story in more than one sense of the word, as Caldera plans to open her own video production company to tell stories, including her own story: a battle with depression.

Calerda, 18, expresses her feelings through video.

“With videos, it’s what keeps the blood running through my veins, it’s what keeps me going,” she said.

For Caldera, there’s more to her story that many don’t know– she battles depression.

“The past four years have been really really rough for me.  I always felt like I had nobody,” she said.

Things changed when she picked up a camera. Caldera channeled her depression into a documentary, titled Despair.

“I have resilient students in my time at South High. I have never seen someone who is so determined to fight back with an illness such as depression and I’m just so proud of her because of it,” said Lisa Schimnowski, counselor at South High School.

While overcoming her battle, she’s helping others with theirs. She’s giving a voice and a face to those battling mental illness.

She has a camera and a cause.

“I was hoping to help that one kid.  You know, let them know that they’re not alone,” Caldera said.

Caldera plans to start a video production company immediately after graduation. She’s been working professionally for about a year and already has an impressive resume. She plans to stay local and take a few classes at Bakersfield Adult School to help her run her business.

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