Show Transcript
[MUSIC] My name is Kimberly Townes, and I'm originally from Charles City, Virginia. When I choose a subject to film or a story to film I'm looking for a challenge, I want something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I want something that's gonna make me have to study, and research, and engross myself in another world and learn. It's a chance to live vicariously, and so I'm hoping that I find and choose stories that allow me to do [UNKNOWN] Kycera inspires me to live passionately. She is a huge reminder to me, of what being a young girl full of dreams is like. She reminds me of [MUSIC] And, it was a chance to go back and embrace that. When she was at the age of two, she stopped speaking. And she was diagnosed with autism. And so to watch her go from someone who didn't speak, to someone who sings opera, and is a synchronized swimmer, I think is pretty amazing. And to just watch her just want to live life so fully. I think it's beautiful and it just reminds me, every time I see I say no excuses. When I first met Kassera, I was surprised at just how sweet and funny she was. She was really a lot of fun and I, as I started hanging out with the family, and I became sort of the family chauffeur at some point. And I remember one day after Girl Scouts just hanging out with her in the car, eating Girl Scout cookies. And just giggling about college and boys and life and freedom. And it was just a refreshing time. And I think I was surprised That the project would take a journey like that. MMM

Director Kimberly Townes on Lessons Learned Working on the ESSENCE Black Girl Magic Series

When director Kimberly Townes began directing episode three of our ESSENCE Black Girl Magic docuseries on Qaisera Alexis, she had no idea of the profound effect that the 17-year-old autistic junior Olympian would have on her life. It was only a matter of time until she found out.