Classmates4Life video contest focuses on drug abuse


courtesy of Tim Demember

An image from the video clip “Don’t Let Drugs Wreck Your World” by Tim Demember.

by Grace Gaydosh, Editor

Catherine Contreras, Timothy Demember, Hanna Dufresne, and Lily Tate, all students who work on the morning announcements, entered videos for the Classmates4Life contest. Voting closed on March 21. The celebration of all county entries was postponed due to snow.

The Classmates4Life Drug-Awareness contest challenged students to produce a 30-60 second video that focused on drug abuse and its outcomes, motivating people to choose life. This is the second annual video contest. During the first year, more than 100 students across the country chose to participate in this one-of-a-kind contest. Junior Alex Ismael was recognized for his video entry his freshman year–he won first place for high school entries.

Student videos were released to the public on March 12 and were reviewed by a panel of judges from March 5th through March 14th. The judges reviewed the entries to select first place through third place winners at each level: elementary school (12 videos), middle school (9 videos), and high school(17 videos). As well as the judges, anyone was able to vote for their favorite video via social media. The videos are posted on YouTube, and the general public voted by pressing the “thumbs up” button below the video.

The video that tallies the most likes will win the People’s Choice Award. This award will be given at the Red Carpet Awards Ceremony Frederick High School.  All filmmakers and actors are invited to attend the awards ceremony. The winning film will be shown on local media as a public service announcement and will be entered into the Maryland International Film Fest.

Patrick Greene, who teaches a digital communications class, gave some of his students the assignment to create a video for the contest.

“The amount of people dying from drugs and addicted to them is crazy. It’s all the way down into middle school, so I think we need to get this message out about how bad this stuff is,” said Greene.

Between January and May of 2017, the deputies in Frederick County responded to 143 opioid related overdoses. However, the year before that had a total of 409 opioid overdoses and 54 deaths, according to data collected by sheriffs.

Junior Catherine Contreras made her video titled “I’m Not the Same.” The message is that drugs can destroy what can seem to be the most stable of futures. As of March 16th, Catherine had 62 likes on YouTube.

“I made this video so that people can see what drugs do to them and it’s a popular concept, sadly. People don’t think it will mess them up so it’s beneficial because these videos might get to them,” said Contreras.

Senior Lily Tate made her video titled “Drugs- It Goes Beyond the Here and Now.” The message is that underage drinking and drug abuse is a very serious thing. Drugs can turn a person’s whole world upside down. Joel Tate and Sarah Hall spoke in her video about the statistics of underage drinking and drug abuse. As of March 16th, Lily had 34 likes on YouTube.

Junior Hanna Dufresne made her video titled “Just Say No.” In this video, multiple students gave their thoughts on drug abuse. Dufresne’s video was different from the others because she interviewed people at Linganore on the intense subject. As of March 16th, Hanna had 74 likes on YouTube.

“I submitted my video because I hope to see everyone in my graduating class in the future. If we avoid any sort of illegal drug usage, we can all live the futures we were meant to have,” said Dufresne.

Junior Tim Demember made his video titled “Don’t Let Drugs Wreck Your World.” He compared a person’s life to a frame. “Inside are all of your dreams, your goals, your plans. Your future is contained in this frame.” As of March 16th, Tim had 36 likes on YouTube.