The city of Flint, Michigan has produced notable talent in the sports and entertainment world. The Denver Nuggets’ JeVale McGee, Everybody Hates Chris star, Terry Crews and middleweight boxer Anthony Dirrell are a few of the many Flintstones that rep their city proudly.
When you mention Flint though, make sure not to leave Eric Woodyard off of that list. A sports reporter at the Flint Journal newspaper, Woodyard was awarded first place in the Best Sports category in 2012 by the Michigan Associated Press.
Flint is the only place that Woodyard knows and he’s loyal to that city. He turned down a job as an ESPN production assistant to stay home and cover news at the local paper—a decision that is paying off well. A city with an estimated 100,000 residents, Flint garners negative attention because of its crime rate. In 2008 and 2009, the FBI ranked the city of Flint as the second most violent city in the U.S.
Feeling the need to shed light on the good in that city, Woodyard made the film, “Flint Made Me,” a half-hour documentary film focuses on his life and the obstacles he overcame. “I started Flint Made Me because I wanted the city to rally for something positive,” Woodyard told The Source. “Flint is really struggling right now with some very tough times so I wanted to be a bright spot on the city.”
The documentary focuses on his identity as a black man and an overachiever in the classroom. Well-liked among his peers, Woodyard was talented in sports and followed his dream in becoming a successful journalist. The film also delves into the lifetime incarceration of his grandfather, one of his biggest supporters.
Woodyard, 25, believes that his Flint Made Me documentary can inspire young lives in his community. Folks in Flint are buying into the movement by purchasing the DVD and wearing Flint Made Me T-shirts. Proceeds from the sale of the film are being used to raise money for a scholarship Woodyard created for students graduating from Flint Southwestern Academy, Woodyard’s alma mater.
The opportunity to live his dream as a reporter, while dually playing the role as a positive role model in his community are held dear to his heart. He’s elated that he’s able to live his dream with his city supporting him. “I don’t think I would be able to touch as many lives as I am now if I were living in another city,” he said. “Hopefully I inspire some kids like the generation before me was able to do for my life.”
You Can Check Out the Film In Its Entirety Below