C-SPAN Honors Calexico Students for Documentary on Immigration



(L-R) Calexico High students Juan Sanchez, Brianda Ley, and Ashley Canaris pose with their awards along with their teacher, Alex Jaime.

CALEXICO – C‑SPAN and Time Warner Cable honored three Calexico students for their contributions to the annual C-SPAN student video documentary competition, called StudentCam, at the Calexico High School library Thursday morning.

Students Brianda Ley, Ashley Canaris and Juan Sanchez were presented with a certificate of merit and a $250 cash prize in recognition of their winning achievement in the national competition. Classmates, teachers and family members were present during the award ceremony and they also viewed the winning video entitled “The Immigration Dilemma.”

Brianda Ley said the video was dear to her heart as she related to the topic of being an immigrant herself.

“During the process of making the video, I myself was in the process of receiving my residency here in the U.S.,” said Ley. “Producing this video reminded me of my life and the struggles I have faced living by the border, and not having citizenship.”

The video portrays the day-to-day struggles of an immigrant living in the United States.

The StudentCam competition encourages middle and high school students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and nation. This year, students were asked to create a five to seven minute video documentary about the topic “Road to the White House: What’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign?”

Alex Jaime, their Calexico High School teacher and department chair of the Career Technical Education Department, said he was extremely proud of these students and their accomplishment. Jaime said his first words to his students were encouraging them to realize the national achievement of the award.

“You should be very proud of yourselves. You competed against 6,000 other students and won. Calexico is not necessarily on the map, but you are making Calexico and putting them on the map,” he told them.

Jaime confided that he had very little hope of them winning since it was a national competition.

“We have entered into county wide-competitions and have been successful, but I never thought we would win,” said Jaime. “I was, and still am, walking on clouds.”

C‑SPAN received 2,887 video submissions from almost 6,000 students in 45 states and Washington, DC. More than 150 student awards and 53 teacher prizes were given out, totaling $100,000 in prize money.

Local dignitaries and state official representatives from the offices of Sen. Ben Hueso, Congressman Juan Vargas and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia also attended the ceremony and presented the students with certificates of recognition.

“Making a film not only takes time, it takes courage, dedication and perseverance,” said Hector Araujo, a representative for Hueso. “It’s not just about making a film — it’s about voicing your concerns and opinions as well as inspiring others.”

Tomas Oliva, a senior field representative for Vargas, said he is proud to see Imperial County students participating and winning awards such as these.

“2016 is considered a presidential election year,” said Oliva. “It is incredibly important that we understand the issues that are going on right now, and stay informed. Normally, we look to our adults for that, (but) here we have three outstanding young adults who are mentoring their peers.”

“The significance of the recognition reflects the hard work of our students and teachers,” said Gabrielle William, principal of Calexico High.

In Calexico, C‑SPAN programming is provided by Time Warner Cable on channel 225, while C‑SPAN2 is on channel 226, and C‑SPAN3 is on channel 227, all as a commercial-free public service. All funding for C‑SPAN operations is provided by local TV providers.


Created by the cable TV industry and now in nearly 100 million TV households, C‑SPAN programs three public affairs television networks in both SD and HD; C‑SPAN Radio, heard in Washington, DC, at 90.1 FM and available as an app (Android, iPhone, Blackberry); and a video-rich website offering live coverage of government events and access to the vast archive of C‑SPAN programming. Visit http://www.c‑span.org/Visit http://www.c‑span.org for coverage and schedules.


C‑SPAN Classroom is a free membership service dedicated to supporting educators’ use of C‑SPAN programming and websites in their classes or for research. Members of C‑SPAN Classroom may access free Timely Teachable Videos and video clips for use in the classroom, as well as lesson plans, handouts, and ways to connect with other C‑SPAN Classroom members. C‑SPAN Classroom has reached more than one million students since its inception in 1987. For more information on C‑SPAN Classroom visit the website:http://www.c‑spanclassroom.org/.