Institute News

Announcing the IWitness Video Challenge Regional Winners

The regional winners of the IWitness Video Challenge were inspired by Holocaust survivor testimony to serve food to the needy, speak out for immigration reform, hold a book drive for kids and more. Now, they will advance to the final round of judging and one will be named the winner of the 2013 IWitness Video Challenge.

In the inaugural IWitness Video Challenge, the USC Shoah Foundation invited students from all over North America to be inspired by testimonies in IWitness and to use their innovation and creativity to create positive value in their communities by doing something ordinary (or extraordinary) and then build a video telling the story about how they contributed to making their communities a better place.

The winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip with one parent or guardian, and his/her teacher, to screen their video as part of the USC Shoah Foundation's 20th anniversary activities in Los Angeles, as well as attend the 2014 Annual USC Shoah Foundation Gala as invited guests. The winner will be announced in April.

Below is a summary of the regional winners. Each will also be profiled here on the USC Shoah Foundation website; check back soon to find out more about the students and watch their videos.

  • In Hugs and Gloves, Ruby Merritt and Ayva Schiff from Berkshire Country Day School in Massachusetts donated gloves and snacks to a community center for the needy and facilitated a discussion among participants to help them share their stories and feel empowered.  
  • In Voices of Our Journey, Ruth Hernandez from Esperanza Academy Charter High School in Pennsylvania helped raise awareness and galvanize support amongst classmates, family, and friends for a protest to speak out for immigration reform.
  • In their IWitness Video Challenge project, Carson Dymock and Allie Maloney from Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School in North Carolina prepared and served food at a homeless shelter.
  • In Clothing Drive - IWitness Challenge, Mary Shepard and Elanie Aro from Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan held a clothing drive for a local charity that helps the homeless.
  • In Improving our National Education, Alwin Wen, Ethan Williams and Mandy Myers from Coppell Middle School North in Texas collected books and donations for the nonprofit Reading is Fundamental (RIF).
  • In Passion and Purpose: How a Holocaust Survivor Inspired Teens to Save Lives, Kevin El Basri, Peter Robinson, Tony Zheng and Andrea Chang from Magic Pen Kids in California wrote, illustrated and sold a children’s book about monkeys to raise money for the nonprofit organization Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled.