ACCESS Academy Students Win C-SPAN Competition

C-SPAN has announced the winners in their national 2020 StudentCam competition. ACCESS Academy students Dorothy Swanson Blaker, Malia Lee and Ania Leonardo are third prize winners and will receive $750 for their documentary, Renewable Resolutions: Solar 2020 (watch it at

Since 2006, C-SPAN has partnered with local cable television providers in communities nationwide inviting 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, DC participated and C-SPAN received over 2,500 submissions on a variety of topics.

The most popular topics addressed were:

• Environment (18 percent) – Climate Change, Green New Deal, Pollution and Plastics

• Equality Discrimination (15 percent) – Prison Rights, Affirmative Action, Veterans’ Rights, Human Rights

• Guns (13 percent) – Gun Control, Mass Shootings, Second Amendment, Gun Safety

• Health Care (12 percent) – Universal Health Care, Mental Health, Addictions, Vaping

• Immigration (nine percent) – 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 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 available in Portland through Comcast. Rebecca Brown, Director of Community Impact, Comcast said, “We are inspired by the Portland area students who took on the challenge of thinking about the important issues in this year’s election and are proud to join C-SPAN in congratulating Dorothy Swanson Blaker, Malia Lee and Ania Leonardo as national prize winners in this year’s competition.”

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.

330 students from across the country won a total of $100,000. C-SPAN is awarding one grand prize, four 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.

High school students competed on a regional level, with the US 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

ACCESS Academy Students Win C-SPAN Competition

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