Jenks students win prizes in C-SPAN’s video documentary competition

Jenks students win prizes in C-SPAN’s video documentary competition

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2020) – C-SPAN announced today that students in Jenks, Oklahoma, are winners in C-SPAN’s national 2020 StudentCam competition. The following students from Jenks High School have won prizes:

Mason Chow and Leviathan Lee will receive $3,000 as first prize winners for the documentary, “200,000,” about the opioid crisis. This documentary will air on C-SPAN at 6:50 a.m. ET and throughout the day on April 19.

Jolie Abdo, Abby Vaughn and Audrey McGee will receive $1,500 as second prize winners for the documentary, “Leveling the Playing Field,” about inequalities in college admissions. The documentary will air on C-SPAN at 6:50 a.m. ET and throughout the day on April 7.

Rori Johnson and Jadyn Wenrick will receive $750 as third prize winners for the documentary, “Bills for Pills,” about prescription drug prices.

Aaron Siebert and Michael Thompson will receive $750 as third prize winners for the documentary, “The Cracks in Our Foundations,” about infrastructure.

Avery Acord and Faith Christner will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary, “A Cycle of Silence,” about civic engagement.

Grace Mills and Gregory Tiller will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary, “The Kiss of Debt,” about the student debt crisis.

Emily Alley and Roland Rice will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary, “The Rent Ain’t Right,” about housing.

Lexi Morrow and Tristen Parsons will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary, “The Road to Rainbow,” about LGBTQ+ rights. 

Justin Blevins and Emma Whelan will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for the documentary, “Thinking Money,” about financial literacy.

Each year since 2006, C-SPAN partners with local cable television providers in communities nationwide to invite middle and high school students to produce short documentaries about a subject of national importance. This year students addressed the theme, “What’s Your Vision in 2020? Explore the issue you most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign.”

In response, nearly 5,400 students from 44 states and Washington, D.C., participated. C-SPAN received over 2,500 submissions on a variety of topics. The most popular topics addressed were:

  • Environment (18%) – Climate Change, Green New Deal, Pollution and Plastics
  • Equality/Discrimination (15%) – Prison Rights, Affirmative Action, Veterans’ Rights, Human Rights
  • Guns (13%) – Gun Control, Mass Shootings, Second Amendment, Gun Safety
  • Health Care (12%) – Universal Health Care, Mental Health, Addictions, Vaping
  • Immigration (9%) – Border Security, Undocumented Immigration, Separation of Families, DACA

“StudentCam provides a platform for young people to have their voices heard on the issues they are clearly passionate about,” said C-SPAN’s Director of Education Relations Craig McAndrew. “This year’s entries reflect remarkable research and production values and feature a wide range of interviews with elected officials and experts. The life skills students learn from this experience will carry them forward in their academic, personal and professional lives.”

C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, who also support StudentCam. In Jenks, C-SPAN is available locally through Cox.

“Congratulations to our local winners on their hard work, creativity and well-deserved recognition,” said Percy Kirk, SVP and Region Manager, Cox Communications. “Cox is committed to strengthening our communities through educational programs and we are proud to partner with C-SPAN in its mission to encourage students to think critically about issues that affect our country.”

These winners are among the 330 students from across the country winning a total of $100,000. C-SPAN is awarding one grand prize, 4 first prizes, 16 second prizes, 32 third prize winners and 97 honorable mention prizes. The winning videos will receive cash awards of $5,000, $3,000, $1,500, $750 and $250, respectively. This year marks the 16th year of the StudentCam competition, which has awarded over $1,000,000 in prizes.

High school students competed on a regional level, with the United States divided into three regions: West, Central and East. Middle school students were judged on a national basis. The grand prize winner was selected nationally among all regions and grade levels.  

The 150 winning videos can be viewed at http://www.studentcam.org and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN. To schedule an interview with one or more of the winning students, please contact Pam McGorry at pmcgorry@c-span.org.

The annual competition is sponsored by the C-SPAN Education Foundation. Videos were evaluated by a panel of educators and C-SPAN representatives based on the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.

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