Twenty-one Long Beach Unified School District students earned awards for their self-produced documentaries in the 2022 C-SPAN StudentCam competition.
StudentCam is an annual video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and nation. The 2022 theme asked students to produce a short documentary with the question: “How does the federal government impact your life?”
This year’s winners include 18 freshmen from Poly High School and three juniors from Millikan High School. The students participated among eight different teams and earned a combined $4,250 in prize money.
Caden Kawamura and Emerson LaPorta of Poly were among the top prize winners, earning second prize for their documentary, titled “No Silver Bullet,” about homelessness in California. The students received congratulatory video messages and certificates from LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Congressman Alan Lowenthal. The two students will share $1,500 in prize money.
Freshmen students Alivia Seard, Anya Murrell and Ivy Bragg-Guzman of Poly won third prize for their documentary, “An Imperfect Union: Hate Crime Legislation in America.” Joining them in the third prize category were classmates Sebastian Fonseca and Sarah Madden for the documentary, “A Helping Hand In Times of Crisis.” Both teams received $750 for their win.
Fourteen students earned the Honorable Mention award and a $250 prize. The winners include Poly students Tika Jonnum and Shakinat Oladepo for “The Farm Bill, Who's Heard Of That?”; Avery Shirbroun, Mikayla Shekell and Dylan Aulenta for “The Reality of LA”; Ruthie Heis, Tejus Deo Dixit and Dia Rubio for “The Great American Healthcare Puzzle”; Lily Danks, Harper Hogan and Sate You for “Are Student Loans Worth It?”; and Jake Ritter, Exly Lundahl and Hendrix Crouther of Millikan for “Something in the Water.”
The LBUSD documentaries are among a total of 150 winning projects. This year, more than 1,400 entries were submitted by students from the U.S., Morocco and South Korea. C-SPAN awarded one grand prize, four first prizes, 16 second prizes, 32 third prizes and 97 honorable mention prizes.
“The winners showcased exceptional research and production values as they wove personal stories with historical or contemporary issues,” said Craig McAndrew, Director, C-SPAN Education Relations. “These middle and high school students far exceeded our expectations, and we are elated to share their hard work with the country.”