15 Sep 2014
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Alameda Students Win Awards

Alameda Students Win Awards

A dozen high school students from Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) won awards from the Alameda County of Education (ACOE) last month for photographs and video they developed to educate people about the dangers of smoking.

The students submitted their work for ACOE's Public Service Announcement Contest, which is co-sponsored by the Tobacco Use Prevention Education program (TUPE). This year's contest theme was "Be Smart, Don't Start" and it had four entry categories: video, audio clip, poster, and photo. Both Alameda High School (AHS) and Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) students submitted entries.

The winning students were:

  • Justin Nguyen and Edward Hu, AHS, Photography, 1st
  • Ryan Flynn, AHS, Photography, 2nd
  • Ashli Chen and Jessica Chen, ASTI, Photography, 3rd
  • Devin Noonan, AHS, Photography, Honorable Mention
  • Golden State Productions*, AHS, Video, 3rd
(*The students on the AHS video team were Matt Placencia, Liam Hollman, Alexa Lum, Natalie Bell, Smriti Chherti, and Anand Narayan.)


"Surprised and Honored"

The AHS photography students who won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as the Honorable Mention, were all part of Larry Winterlin's introductory Multimedia Art class. "It was wonderful to get this news," Winterlin says. "Clearly, I have really good students!"

Winterlin's student, Justin Nguyen, says he and his partner Edwin Hu researched the effects of tobacco before designing their first place-winning entry. "We saw how it makes you look bad and kills your brain cells, so we came up with a little rhyme for the text," he says. "I was pretty surprised and honored to hear we won!" (Photos and link to the video are below.)

Ashli Chen and Jessica Chen developed their 3rd-place photography entry in Kirsten Jurkovich's Leadership class at ASTI. "It is very fitting that Ashli and Jessica won," Jurkovich says. "They are always eager to give back to their school and their community. They are the first to volunteer whenever we need help – they are just so active and engaged."


"Hard Work Pays Off"

The AHS video students developed their submission in John Dalton's TV/Media 1 class. "This was such a great opportunity," Dalton, who also chairs AHS's Career Technical Education Department, says. "I usually have my classes develop PSAs as part of their coursework. This gave the students a chance to create something for a legitimate contest."

Natalie Bell, a sophomore who was part of the 3rd-place winning video team, says she liked the assignment because “it gave us a chance to be creative, yet spread awareness about the harm tht tobacco products cause.  It felt really nice to win an award, because it helped our team see that hard work does pay off."

This is the third year ACOE and TUPE have sponsored the contest. Many of the AUSD winners and their teachers attended an awards ceremony put on by ACOE last night in Hayward.

"I am so proud of these students for combining creativity with health information to come up with these amazing PSAs," says AUSD Superintendent Kirsten Vital. "And I am very grateful to their teachers for not only supporting them through the creative process but guiding them through the process of submitting materials to a county-wide contest. These students learned key life lessons through this exercise."

--Information submitted by Alameda Unified School District

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