The Future is Bright: Winners of the 2019 Scholarship Video Contest
Four current and upcoming college students are celebrating $1,000 scholarship prizes after winning this year’s “One Planet, Many People” video contest organized by Population Media Center (PMC). By creating videos under a minute long that examine the impacts of human population growth on their neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, or the planet, the applicants competed against more than sixty-five other contestants from around the world to bring home the gold.
Keith Kaback, M.D., Director of the contest, highlighted multiple benefits to taking part. “By participating in the scholarship contest, students learn about the impact of rapid human population growth on the world around them. In addition, by making a video, students explore and develop their creative skills.”
Kristian Rairata, a contest winner from Quezon City, Philippines, echoed Kaback’s view. Rairata said that the contest helped him learn about how population size impacts the world for the creation of his video exploring population growth, “The Downside”. Rairata was first drawn to the contest for its scholarship prize, as he plans to attend Asia Pacific Film Institute in Fall 2019, but he also saw the advantages to his broader education as he made his video. “I realized that [the contest] would be a great opportunity to also kickstart my career in producing videos of different types,” he said, adding, “Through constant research and browsing, I [got] to see a general viewpoint on how population works and how crucial it is for the future to come.”
Anne Zweber, an incoming College of Saint Benedict freshman from Elko New Market, Minnesota, was also drawn to the opportunity PMC’s contest provided to engage in impactful study. “I wanted to apply to scholarships that had a purpose and meaning behind it,” she said. “I also loved how I was actually going to learn something by applying.” Zweber’s video, “Education”, focuses on how increasing education rates can improve a number of social issues worldwide.
Gabrielle Pino’s video “Solutions for Overpopulation” addresses rising population rates, particularly in developing countries, and disparities associated with the increasing numbers. Pino, a senior at the University of California Santa Barbara who lives in the local area, valued the video approach PMC’s scholarship contest offered when essay contests can be a frequent norm. “I like contests that have creative formats such as videos, especially when they are informational.”
Rachel Stotler, transferring to The Master’s University in Fall of 2019 in her local town of Santa Clarita, California, devised a creative video addressing unique perspectives on the world. Reading a self-written reverse poem titled “Attic Salt”, Stotler walks us through the mind of someone hopeless and skeptical in the face of human impact on the climate, before reading the poem backwards line for line to show us the perspective of someone environmentally-friendly and determined, ending on the lines “I refuse to believe / the future is bleak”. Like her poem’s second persona, Stotler, too, is determined; having previously applied to 52 scholarships without success, she said, “if I’ve learned nothing else, it’s to keep trying.”
When asked about the role of youth in responding to population growth, Kaback said, “It is our youth who will determine whether or not our society understands that population growth is a root cause of many of the problems facing our world, and it is our youth who must lead the effort to address the challenge in the coming decades.”
If these four represent the next generation, we at PMC feel that the future looks bright.
ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit leader in entertainment-education, dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment, population stabilization, and the environment. For the past two decades, PMC’s entertainment programming, including TV and radio shows, have promoted social and cultural change and have helped 500 million people in more than 50 countries.