Dougherty Valley High School Earns Impressive Award with Video Documentary

Dougherty Valley High School Earns Impressive Award with Video Documentary
Posted on 03/22/2021

SAN RAMON, Calif. March 22, 2021 – Dougherty Valley High School student Agamroop Kaur earned a $1,500 award for her second-place documentary (West Division) in the 17th Annual C-Span StudentCam National Video Documentary Competition. The video documentary competition encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Kaur’s honored video is titled BIG Tobacco BIGGER Epidemic and portrays the dangers of youth vaping and the marketing of such products. Her video will air throughout the day on April 6 on C-SPAN. Here is a link to her six-minute video: https://www.viddler.com/v/d83d91b6.

 “When I saw the C-SPAN StudentCam advertisement I thought this was the perfect opportunity to bring together my first-hand experiences and knowledge to advocate for preventive policies and actions to a larger audience, including legislators,” said Kaur said. “However, I was uncertain when I was deciding on entering the competition because I was a little intimidated at first, as I previously have never produced a documentary and knew I would be learning as I was going. But I am so glad I decided to take the chance and enter, all the learning and efforts made really paid off in the end.”

 Along with her studies, Kaur is an active member of the CourAGE Youth Health Coalition, which is a youth-centered and -directed group that places a leadership role in addressing health-related issues. Members represent schools from across Contra Costa County. The group was founded in 2013, through a partnership between the Contra Costa County Office of Education and Center for Human Development.

Over the last year, CourAGE has successful transitioned to operating virtually for their advocacy efforts. During their monthly meetings, they have expanded their planning and building, and are learning many new skills ranging from facilitation to environmental prevention strategies.

“For me it was not so much I was trying to decide on a topic, I was actually looking for an opportunity to bring attention to the toll e-cigarettes have taken on youth across the nation,” said Kaur. “While I have first-hand seen so many of my own peers using the devices at school and on social media, through being a part of CourAGE Youth Health Coalition and the Stanford University TPT YAB, I have also learned a lot about the major influence Big Tobacco has on the epidemic.”

With cash prizes totaling $100,000 each year, C-SPAN awards prizes to the top 150 student documentaries, and more than 50 teacher advisers. Since 2004, C-SPAN has awarded over $1 million dollars in cash prizes to past-winning students and teachers. This year, students in grades 6-12 were asked to create a short (5-6 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme: "Explore the issue you most want the president and new Congress to address in 2021."

Being involved with advocacy over the past few years has allowed Kaur to discover her passion in policy. “After high school, I hope to delve into studying the world of public policy and government in college to gain in depth knowledge about all the different elements to a policy— I like to call it the psychology behind the policy,” Kaur continues. “I am quite interested in learning how different factors influence policy making, how a specific policy would affect society as a whole and creating my own solutions to societal issues. I also hope to continue my journey in advocacy, hopefully being able to create dents in the youth e-cigarette epidemic, as well as tackle other prominent issues in our society.”

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