Institute News

IWitness Video Challenge Winner is “Voices of Our Journey”

The first-ever winner of the IWitness Video Challenge has been chosen: Voices of Our Journey, by Ruth Hernandez.

Hernandez attends Esperanza Charter High School in Philadelphia and was assigned to complete the IWitness Video Challenge in her advisory period, taught by Eden Strunk. 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.

In her video, Hernandez features a clip of Holocaust survivor Leo Fettman describing how the police forced him and his family to pack up and leave their home. Hernandez also interviews teachers and students at her school and her dad about the importance of immigration reform and keeping families together. For her service project, she helped raise awareness and galvanize support amongst classmates, family, and friends for a protest held by the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia to speak out for immigration reform.

As the winner, Hernandez will receive an all-expense-paid trip with one parent or guardian, and her teacher, to screen her video as part of the USC Shoah Foundation's 20th anniversary activities in Los Angeles. They will also attend the USC Shoah Foundation’s 2014 Ambassadors for Humanity Gala as invited guests.