Powerful local film tells inspirational tale of skier turned NMU student

MARQUETTE, Mich — A short film featured this year at Marquette’s Fresh Coast Film Festival titled ‘Moving Mountains’ highlights the challenges overcome by a local resident named Dorothy Paad. Paad is a 28-year-old Northern Michigan University student who loves skiing. She is also wheelchair bound and requires 24-hour care.

As part of the ‘Moving Mountains Adaptive Program’ – a non-profit organization in the Upper Peninsula dedicated to providing winter outdoor recreation instruction to those with disabilities – Paad’s inspiring story was represented by a short film commissioned by the organization. It’s directed by Nick Jensen of Floline Media.

Dorothy Paad

Nick Jensen of Floline Media, presented "Moving Mountains" at the Fresh Coast Film Festival 2018 in Marquette, MI this past weekend. The beautifully crafted short film, edited by JoEllen Lindstrom documents the inspiring story of Dorothy Paad, an MMAP skier who is currently a student at Northern Michigan University. Moving Mountains is honored to be partnered with Nick. His videography provides an exquisite and touching record of the efforts of MMAP.

Moving Mountains is tremendously proud of Dorothy. She is a remarkable young woman with much to offer the world. We are all excited to see where her path leads.

Congratulations to Dorothy, Nick and JoEllen!!

Posted by Moving Mountains Adaptive Program on Sunday, October 21, 2018

The film is emotional. Paad has accomplished a lot, and is still striving to achieve more. Through school, through independence, and through the daily tackle of everyday obstacles many of us take for granted; transportation, mobility, education, and self-care, Dorothy Paad is ‘moving mountains.’

Not only was Dorthy Paad told she would never live on her own, even though skiing was likely the only thing on her mind, how to do it seemed an impossibility. With the help of Floline Media and Jensen’s film, Paad’s obstacle crushing determination and grit come to life, and it shows her journey finding the courage to enroll into Northern Michigan University.

“Less enlightened people told me I would never go to college because I have a learning disability, and I believed them. That turned me off the whole education realm of things,” she says in the film. “I always wanted to ski, which surprised my parents, but I never thought I could.”

And Dorothy skis. She skis fast. She skis difficult terrain, and black diamonds.

“The confidence gained by moving mountains pushed me to say, ‘Yes I will go back to school.'” – Dorothy Paad

There are not yet any instances of this story being republished or covered in local news media, but Northern Michigan University was recently informed of the film and are said to be taking steps to expose it to a further audience. Fresh Coast, a regional film festival in Marquette, Michigan, showcased it and mentions the film on their website and Facebook page.

It is powerful four minute film.

“Moving Mountains in Iron Mountain, MI is a coordinated effort between many highly energized, dedicated volunteers and Pine Mountain Resort,” states Moving Mountains on a Facebook post. “Instructors involved with this program have been trained by, and follow the processes and procedures of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). This is the story how Dorothy Paad gained confidence through Moving Mountains to brave the challenges of attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI.”

The Public Relations mechanisms in this story can be seen through the integration of the organization’s mission within the film. They’re mentioned vicariously through Dorothy Paad’s journey.

Her connection to Northern Michigan University is also a captivating aspect to the film. If worked in cohesion with NMU’s Marketing Department, which has always been very good about highlighting inspiring student spotlight stories, it will fit well in the fearless spirit of NMU’s promotional efforts.

Students like Paad face challenges overcome through Northern’s accommodating accessibility initiatives and curriculum. NMU is a more positive environment with the inclusion of students from all backgrounds. Ablebodied people gain a valuable perspective when Dorothy Paads are in class. Determined students like Paad bring a perspective to the classroom we can all value. Inclusion and diversity enhance the educational experiences of all students.

The things that make this story newsworthy are its rarity, special interest, and local connection. Four organizations are behind this, enabling Paad’s inspiring story to be exposed to the publics – Moving Mountains Adaptive Program, Northern Michigan Unversity, Floline Media, and the Fresh Coast Film Festival of Marquette. Transmedia is recognized in at least three of them, sharing each other’s content or embedding similar videos in their website. It’s clearly a team effort.

We are excited to announce that a short film about a story from our program has been accepted into the Fresh Coast Film…

Posted by Moving Mountains Adaptive Program on Tuesday, October 16, 2018