Twenty-five-year-old Amanda Haynes first came to FVCC to finish her high school education after her mother, who homeschooled Haynes for 12 years, nearly lost her life in a near-fatal horseback riding accident. Haynes put her education on hold to care for her ailing grandmother while her mother recovered. Four years later, Haynes decided she wanted to prove to herself and her mother, now fully-recovered, that she could finish her education. She earned a General Education Development diploma and then continued on at FVCC to earn a Certificate of Applied Science in business administration.
Today, the Flathead Native is owner of Coelacanth Productions and Promotion, a video production, editing and marketing company in Whitefish she founded in January. Local events she has captured on the job include The Event at Rebecca Farm and rodeos and fight nights at Majestic Valley Arena. In addition to pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in graphic design at FVCC, Haynes is a part-time horse trainer, runs an eBay business, volunteers at Whitefish Theatre Company, paints acrylic scenes, has designed clothing for My Secret Treasures in Kalispell, designs dog coats for Tailwaggers in Whitefish, designs customized clothing, and sells clothing at the local farmers’ markets.
In her spare time, Haynes utilizes her talents to give back to the community. She is an active volunteer at the Whitefish Theatre Company and donated her time and services to filming FVCC’s Rock for Relay fundraiser for the American Cancer Society last year. She has plans in the works through the FVCC Service Learning program to provide complimentary services to help the Glacier Institute with its fundraiser as well as volunteer her services to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Hooked on Fishing program that teaches children about fishing and other positive outdoor activities than students can participate in with their families.
“It’s important to give back to your community and to be involved in organizations you believe in and you feel make a positive impact on people’s lives,” she said.
Recently, Haynes gave back to FVCC and the community in a big way. She produced Montana’s first “Pink Glove Dance” video starring 270 FVCC students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni and friends of the college. The video joined thousands of other “Pink Glove Dance” videos produced by organizations from health care facilities to other colleges and universities across the nation in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness and to bring hope and smiles to those impacted by the disease.
To Haynes, producing the video was a way to honor her dear friend she lost to cancer just a month before she started filming. She was inspired by her friend’s long fight with the disease and wanted to utilize her videography skills to send hope to others who have been touched by cancer.
“He was very upbeat until the very end which was incredible,” said Haynes. “This was a very creative project, and I like the message it sends not only to our community but around the world.”