As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, it's an honor to shine a spotlight on exceptional individuals who make invaluable contributions to their community and workplace. Today, we are highlighting Miguel Vega Mejia, Visual Communications Specialist, who is harnessing his passion for filmmaking to tell impactful stories, both inside and outside of SDG&E.
Miguel knew from an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in video and film. “Jurassic Park was the first movie that made me really curious about how films were made and how they were able to achieve that level of storytelling and visual effects,” says Miguel. “But while I was growing up, it was hard to find movies and TV shows that included representation of myself and my family.”
Miguel’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when he was young. He grew up on the Central Coast of California, in Aromas, where his parents and other family members worked in agriculture, harvesting fruits and lettuce.
“I felt like those stories weren’t being told and I knew that I wanted to be more inclusive with my work and share perspectives that sometimes get overlooked,” says Miguel. “In every project I work on, I aim to tell stories in an honest way and find an angle that can create a connection between people. That could be done through sharing more about a marginalized community that not everyone has knowledge of, or through my videos here at SDG&E, giving our customers a behind-the-scenes look at our employees who are working hard to serve our communities.”
Miguel joined us in 2021 as a videographer, helping to bring our stories to life. While creating videos that showcase our work in the community, his goal is to demonstrate how our efforts are contributing to a safer, stronger, and healthier future. He’s also a member of VOZ, our Employee Resource Group for Latino employees and allies, where he has the opportunity to connect with colleagues and help serve as a “voice” for the Latino community that we serve every day.
“Miguel has been a tremendous asset to our company from the moment he joined. Anyone who works with him has always been impressed with his ability to visually tell a story that can become meaningful to the viewer,” said Rosie Sandoval, Digital Content & Creatives Services Manager. “I appreciate how passionate he is about his work, and how through his perspective we are able to truly highlight the amazing work that SDG&E does in our community.”
Sharing the Story of the Chicano Movement with a Supernatural Twist
When he’s not creating videos here at SDG&E, Miguel is hard at work on his master’s degree in film at San Diego State University. As part of his final year in graduate school, Miguel’s thesis project is a short film exploring the Chicano Movement through the story of a fictional family, inspired by his own history and people he grew up with on the Central Coast. His film, titled Los Malcriados, will explore themes of intergenerational conflict through a supernatural horror genre with comedic elements.
“Seeing my parents’ journey since moving to the U.S. and how much they’ve grown has taught me a lot about the immigrant experience,” said Miguel. “There are so many positive things to reflect on, but unfortunately there were also struggles and generational clashes that are common among immigrant families. I think it’s important to explore all parts of the immigrant story.”
Given Miguel’s family’s background, he has resonated with the stories of the 1970s Chicano Movement and the identity journey of Chicano youth that helped pave the way for his generation.
“My Chicano journey included cultural clashes between American society and my immigrant household, so I knew I could speak about those themes from the heart. Ultimately, my goal is to change the narrative for marginalized communities in an honest and reflective way that avoids stereotypes. I always try to find universal themes that everyone can relate to, whether they’re a part of the community or not. That helps connect all of us.”
Miguel will be finishing up his short film and master’s program next year. He looks forward to harnessing what he’s learning at SDSU in his storytelling at SDG&E, finding new and innovative ways to put the spotlight on our workforce and the unique contributions they bring.
Thank you, Miguel, for all that you do!