C-SPAN honors Skyline juniors for a documentary they created in their Communication, Media and Public Policy (CMPP) magnet

Amelia Repp and Ava DeBenedet receive Honorable Mention Video Documentary Award

Rachel Katz of C-SPAN presents the Honorable Mention video documentary award to Skyline CMPP Magnet students Ava DeBenedet and Amelia Repp. You can view their award-winning video at: https://www.viddler.com/v/c9944ec0

Skyline High School juniors Amelia Repp and Ava DeBenedet have received an honorable mention video award from C-SPAN for their video titled “Gerrymandering: Michigan Tackles the Issue.”

Rachel Katz presented the award at the school Wednesday as the students’ parents, Anthony and Anna DeBenedet and Dave and Anita Repp looked on, along with Edward Woods III, Executive Director of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, and Georgia Frost, field representative for U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell.

The students learned about the competition through their Communication, Media, and Public Policy Magnet (CMPP), a Skyline program in which students create different forms of media on various policy topics.

“I could not be more proud of Ava and Amelia and their work!” says Ross Dunbar, Co-Lead Teacher of the CMPP Magnet. “They put in countless extra hours to create a truly important C-SPAN video for viewers to consider and learn from.”

“We are lucky enough to be able to have the opportunity to work with such great teachers and have access to amazing resources and equipment,” says Ava. “For this project, our teachers assigned us to create a video that aligned with the requirements for the C-SPAN competition. When we completed our video, and after encouragement from our teachers, we decided to enter the competition.”

The students said that they wanted to select a topic for the video that is not frequently discussed.

“When we started our research, we realized that Gerrymandering is a really impactful issue that plays a huge role in the country’s current political divide and ultimately affects several other political issues,” says Amelia. “Upon further investigation, we learned that Michigan is one of the few states taking an initiative against Gerrymandering.”

Ava and Amelia spoke with Edward Woods, the executive director of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, who explained the new redistricting process that Michigan has adopted.

“Essentially, Michigan is one of the few states in which typical citizens, as opposed to politicians, create the voting districts,” Amelia explains. “This has helped to create more fair and competitive elections. We found the whole process to be really exciting, as we were previously unaware that Michigan is taking such large steps towards voting equity.”

The students say they’re not sure which careers they’ll eventually pursue, but enjoyed getting a glimpse into the life of a filmmaker/journalist. They extended thanks to everyone who lent their guidance and expertise to the project, especially Ross Dunbar, Cate McCraw, Edward Woods, and Nancy Wang.

Left to right: Ava DeBenedet, Amela Repp, and Edward Woods III:

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