Thursday, August 15, 2013

Memorial High student video wins Mayor’s Award

Memorial High School students Justin Lee and Sarah Kate Thomas were honored at City Hall earlier this summer for their award-winning video for “It Can Wait, Houston,” an no-texting while driving message campaign that is supported by Mayor Annise Parker.

The two students won second place for the video. Lee, a rising senior, and Thomas, a rising junior, both serve on the Mayor’s Youth Council. They learned of the Mayor’s call for submissions last spring and worked with their MHS debate team and classmates to create a video in support of the campaign’s message.

Of the 11 videos submitted, three were selected and recognized during a public press conference. Lee’s and Thomas’ video is available to watch on YouTube and will be posted on the city’s website. Thomas and Lee had no formal video production classes or training.

They viewed the opportunity as a positive way to influence their own community and raise awareness around this issue. “[Texting while driving] is a big deal,” said Thomas. “I hope our video brings awareness [to the issue.]” Lee spoke to the process and lessons learned. “I got a lot out of this project,” he said. Beyond learning the film production process and software, he said that “awareness for everyone is key.”

The Mayor’s Youth Council is an organization that allows youth to discuss pertinent issues while promoting activism and community service. This year, both Lee and Thomas participated in citywide improvement projects such as an urban gardening initiative and the Texas Miracle Network in the Houston Medical Center.


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