Bryn Mooser’s love for Haiti runs deep.

The 35-year-old co-founder of Ryot, a breaking-news site that blends storytelling with social responsibility, moved to the Caribbean country after the devastating 2010 earthquake to work as an aid worker. A former Peace Corps volunteer and fluent Creole speaker, Mooser now splits his time between his Venice office and the country he calls his second home.

On his most recent trip in February – Mooser has visited Haiti too many times to count – he and Ryot business partner David Darg taught a film class at the Ciné Institute, a 50-mile drive from Port-au-Prince, and showed 40 college students how to shoot aerial footage using a drone.

He recalled their excitement when he flew the quad-copter with an attached GoPro camera into the classroom. Most had only seen photos of drones online. And when he announced that he was donating the $1,000 camera drone to the school, the students erupted with applause.

“These are Haiti’s next generation of filmmakers,” Mooser said. “With this tool, they’re going to be able to see Haiti from a whole new perspective – from the air.”

Mooser said he hopes the camera will also help show a different picture of the recovering country, one that moves away from the “doom and gloom” often portrayed in the media.

As for when Mooser plans to return? He said he’ll be back in Haiti next month.

“If it gets too long, I get a little antsy,” he said.

Hanging in White House

Cooper Harris, founder and chief executive of software company Klickly in Venice, has a secret.

Her passion for painting actually landed her a wall space in the White House about four years ago.

“It’s so funny,” Harris said. “It’s something I’m passionate about, but I don’t talk about it. I don’t think most people would know I paint.”

Harris, who is in her late 20s, studied art and painting during college. The White House was hosting a competition to feature the work of artists from around the country. She decided to submit a three-canvas painting of a Scottish landscape, painted after a trip there to see where her family is from. And it was accepted.

Now, the painting hangs in her mother’s home in North Carolina.

“I gave it to my mother because she doesn’t get to see me a lot,” Harris said. “She likes to brag (about it).”

Staff reporters Melissah Yang and Subrina Hudson contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at

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