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Sunnyside High School Freshmen Dominate Video Contest

May 20, 2016

TUCSON, AZ–The Freshman Academy at Sunnyside High School provided 500 participants and most of the winners in a recent video contest sponsored by the Population Media Center’s Arizona Chapter.

It was the second annual “One Planet, Many People” video contest, open to high school students throughout Arizona. The contest featured cash prizes for creating a short video, under two minutes, exploring how a rapidly growing human population might impact the world, Arizona, or the student’s future quality of life.

For the second year in a row, a University High School student won the grand prize. This year, Ray Harper’s video “The Sheer Scale” won $750 as part of the grand prize award. Harper’s video showed the viewer dramatic changes to the Earth over time and connected these occurrences with population growth, use of resources, and lifestyle.

But the Sunnyside freshmen captured the majority of the prizes, with students taking second and third place, plus winning Best Technical Video. Second place, and a $500 cash prize, went to Rene Valenzuela for his video “Forgotten Fuels,” and third place, and a $250 cash prize, went to three students, Brissa Zamudio, Cyntia Marquez, and Sergio Moreno, who worked together to create “Overpopulation.” Best Technical Video, and a $200 cash prize, went to Bryan Mendoza for “One Planet, Many People.”

There were also seven honorable mentions winning $100 each. From Sunnyside High School: Karime Portillo and Melissa Corella for “Growing Populations Causing Mass Deforestation,” Carolina Leon and Shaila Brown for “One Planet, Many People,” Eduardo Lugo Castillo for “Increasing Human’s Population,” and Mya Hernandez, Jasmin Murillo, Damaris Andrade, and Manuel Liogon for “World Population Limitation.” From Paradise Valley: Samantha LaFromboise and Jonathan Dotson for “oneplanet” and Robert Noland and Zacharay Nelson for “One Planet, Many People. From Palo Verde: Vincent Quirk and Devante Bates for “Overpopulation.”

“We were pleased to have so many students involved in this year’s contest, generating a good number of videos that addressed the topics in creative or interesting ways. In fact, we decided to award an increased number of honorable mention awards because of the effort that students put into the project,” says Keith Kaback, Executive Director of Population Media Center’s Arizona Chapter. “It provides a great project-based learning opportunity for students to develop their research and creative skills while also learning about issues that are critical to their long-term quality of life.”

All of the winning videos are available for viewing on Population Media Center’s website. The Population Media Center Arizona chapter presented awards and showed winning videos in presentations at Sunnyside High School, Palo Verde High School, Paradise Valley High School, and University High School. Overall, the video contest reached more than 1,500 students.

Population Media Center is an international nonprofit that uses media to educate citizens about family and reproductive health, gender equity, and the benefits of small families for the environment. Population Media Center programs have appeared in more than 50 countries. The Arizona chapter promotes understanding and discussion of the global impact of population growth and the local impact on Arizona’s citizens and environment.


Population Media Center is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using their entertainment-education methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world.