Northampton students claim prize in national competition - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Northampton students claim prize in national competition

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

Two Northampton students have been honored as part of a national documentary competition.

Thousands of students put together videos on subjects of national importance and these students say this award was a moment they will never forget.

For Elena Frogameni and Jarrett Smith of Northampton High School, it has been a school year to remember.

Apart from the day to day grind working on the student run newscast 'The Transcript', they also took part in the nationwide video competition run by C-SPAN, a public affairs cable network that offers live coverage of government events.

C-SPAN’s 'classroom competition' is now more than 10 years old. Students grades 6 through 12 are invited to submit a short documentary. This year's theme was The Constitution and what it means to them.

[VIDEO: Click here to watch the full video submission]

Jeromie Whalen teaches technology at the student’s high school.

"It's something that I offered to my students. Few of them actually take the initiative to complete it," Whalen told us.

C-SPAN received a record 3,000 videos from nearly 6,000 students across the country, ranging from the freedoms of The First Amendment to the powers of congress.

Only 300 received a prize and Northampton High School, for the second year in a row, was one of them.

The students claimed one of 97 honorable mentions.

Frogameni is a senior at Northampton High School.

"As a student who works on a student news broadcast, we're really operating on YouTube and online,” Frogameni said. “The issue of net neutrality really hit home for me." 

The pair spent hours after school for more than a week just to get this video together. It was worth it for the experience alone, but to be recognized nationally was something else.

"We both got 125 dollars each,” Smith, a junior, told us. “I was like ‘Oh my God, that's awesome!', like I didn't expect that out of it, you know?"

Both Frogameni and Smith said they hope this experience is just the start of something much larger.

"I feel like I’ve come a really long way in learning how to edit. It was really fun learning how to put this particular video, and working on editing," Frogameni said.

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