Calexico Students Win Prize In C-SPAN’s Video Documentary Competition


calexico high school logoStudents create documentaries to address issues in the 2016 Presidential Race

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday C-SPAN announced that Brianda Ley, Ashley Canaris and Juan Sanchez, seniors at Calexico High School in Calexico, California, are Honorable Mention winners in C-SPAN’s national 2016 StudentCam competition. Brianda, Ashley, and Juan will receive $250 for their documentary, “The Immigration Dilemma.”

The national competition, now in its 12th year, invites middle school (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to produce a five-to-seven minute documentary on a national policy issue.

This year, students used video cameras to address the theme, “Road to the White House: what’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign?” In response, C-SPAN received a record 2,887 video submissions from almost 6,000 students in 45 states and Washington, DC.

“With the presidential campaign in the forefront of people’s minds, we wanted to hear from students across the country about the issues that matter to them,” said Craig McAndrew, C-SPAN’s Manager of Education Relations. “StudentCam provides these young people, many of whom are too young to vote, with a platform to express their opinions and have their voices heard.”

The most popular topic chosen by students was the economy. Nineteen percent of entries were about issues affecting the economy such as poverty, homelessness, and minimum wage, followed by equality (13 percent), and education (12 percent).

C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, which support StudentCam. In Calexico, C-SPAN is available locally through Time Warner Cable.

“Time Warner Cable congratulates Brianda Ley, Ashley Canaris, and Juan Sanchez on their winning documentary in C-SPAN’s 2016 StudentCam competition. In this hotly contested election cycle, it’s great to see future voters voicing their opinions on the most important issues of the day. We are pleased to work together with C-SPAN on this educational initiative and offer our highest congratulations to Brianda, Ashley and Juan on their hard work and national accomplishment,” said Deane Leavenworth, Regional Vice President for Government Relations at Time Warner Cable.

These winners are among 332 students from across the country winning a total of $100,000, including one Grand Prize winner, four First Prize winners, 16 Second Prize winners, 32 Third Prize winners and 97 Honorable Mentions.

The 150 winning videos may be viewed at and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN. To schedule an interview with one or more winning students or with C-SPAN education staff, please contact Robin Newton, Media Relations Specialist, at 202.626.8910 or Pam McGorry, Education Programs Specialist, at 202.626.4861.

The annual competition is sponsored by the C-SPAN Education Foundation. Videos were evaluated by a panel of educators and C-SPAN representatives based on the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.