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LWVMA Announces Winners of “There Oughta Be a Law” Student Video Contest

May 8, 2015 / Boston, MA – The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) today announced the three winners of its “There Oughta Be a Law” Student Video Contest.

For its second annual student video contest, the League invited Massachusetts high school students to create two-minute videos suggesting new laws to help keep Massachusetts great.  The contest aimed to heighten civic awareness among high school students, provide an opportunity for them to speak out about the topics that are important to them, and possibly help shape the legislative agenda. The winners will receive awards of $1,000 (first place); $500 (second place); and $250 (third place).

The three winning videos are:

First Place: “Violation of Gun Control,” by Benjamin Andersson Grotnes (with Anne Helmen, Julia Hines Grape, and Anniken Birkhaug), Maynard High School, Maynard

Second Place: “Statutory Rape,” by Susanita Carvajal (with Ezra Kaim, Jordan Chase, Matt Friedrich, and Jill Stockley), Longmeadow High School, Longmeadow

Third Place:  “The Risks of Confidentiality,” by Alexa Lyons (of Newton), The Winsor School, Boston

The winning videos were selected from a pool of entries submitted from across the state—from western Massachusetts to the Cape and Islands—that touched on a wide variety of topics, including suicide prevention programs, genetically modified organisms, public art, clean energy, education, recycling, satellite dishes, driving laws, and voter registration. The Judging Committee selected the winning submissions based on their clear and compelling messages, memorable content and delivery, and creativity.  The positions taken in the videos do not necessarily reflect the positions of the League of Women Voters.

“We were extremely pleased that, for a second year, we received so many thoughtful and creative videos on such a wide range of topics,” said LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler. “But it is also fascinating that the three winning videos all address different aspects of public health and safety.”

“We are proud that the League of Women Voters has been able to provide young people across Massachusetts with a platform to share their concerns as well as their solutions,” said Anne Borg, co-president of LWVMA. “It is inspiring to see the range and quality of the students’ work.”

In addition to the individual prizes, Durfee High School in Fall River will receive a special prize of $250 to recognize the exceptional number of high quality videos submitted to the contest by Durfee students.  This is the second year in a row that Durfee High School has been so recognized.

The contest was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Citizen Education Fund, which supports programs designed to encourage the active and informed participation of citizens in democracy and increase understanding of public policy issues. An award ceremony will be scheduled for later this month.