Teens Worldwide Compete in Eight Digital Media Categories

SAN JOSE, Calif.– The Adobe Foundation today announced the winners of the first-ever Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Aspire Awards. The only global youth competition of its kind, the Aspire Awards showcase digital media created by teens, ages 13-18, who demonstrate creativity and skill using video, print and/or audio to convey perspectives on issues that are significant to them. MTV, Dell and Samsung are collaborating with AYV in recognizing these youth, joining forces as supporting partners of the Aspire Awards. AYV is the Adobe Foundation’s signature global philanthropy initiative, aimed at providing young people with critical technology skills to better communicate their ideas, demonstrate their potential and take action in their communities.

Aspire Awards winners were selected from among 160 projects chosen as semi-finalists. More than 800 submissions were received overall in response to a call for entries from January – April 2012. Entries were accepted in eight categories — animation, documentary, music video, narrative video, poetry/experimental video, audio, graphic design and photography. Judging was conducted by a global panel comprised of teen peers, youth media professionals, educators and media industry experts, including photographer Neil Bennett, spoken-word poet Sarah Kay and director Robert Kenner. Semi-finalists in each category were made eligible for an Audience Choice Award, selected via online voting by the general public.

“The Aspire Awards provides youth with a global venue to showcase their talents,” said Michelle Yates, director of corporate social responsibility, Adobe. “We’re delighted with the overwhelming response to our call for entries and awed by the work, skill and talent that have gone into creating these remarkable submissions. It’s rewarding to see the impact our AYV program has in inspiring youth to create, speak out and gain critical technology skills in the process.”

Winning youth media makers and their sponsoring schools and/or organizations will receive prize packages containing: Adobe software; laptops provided by Dell; HD camcorders donated by Samsung Electronics America, Inc.; Flip Mino HD video cameras; and a donation to their charity of choice. MTV Act, which celebrates young people who take action to make things better, will feature the winners of the Aspire Awards on their website. Winners will also have the opportunity to showcase their projects publicly through art galleries, Digital Arts Magazine, plus partner film festivals and exhibitions worldwide, including the Seattle International Film Festival, the Sarajevo Film Festival and many more.

In addition to featuring the Aspire Awards winners on its website, MTV Act has recognized the student creators of the 20 20 Vision project with the MTV Act Award. The project, an Aspire Awards semi-finalist, is a music video on what families, schools and the community at large can do to support youth’s success in school. It was created in support of the White House initiative to have the most college graduates by 2020. Developed by Fabio Aguilar, Diamante Horton, Richard Kaho, PJ Poloai and Jose Saavedra at the Redwood City Peapod Academy in Redwood City, Calif., the project echoes MTV Act’s vision of recognizing an exceptional media project that leverages music and provides a clear call to action. A representative of the project will travel to MTV studios in New York City, in addition to the team receiving the prize package provided by Adobe, Dell and Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

“While judging the Aspire Awards, I was inspired and moved by all the pieces submitted for the competition,” said Gregg Witkin, educator at Boyton High School in San Jose, Calif., and judge for the Aspire Awards. “As an educator, it is rewarding to see the Aspire Awards provide a global arena for students to exhibit their projects and learn from professionals, expanding a whole new world of possibilities. Through Adobe Youth Voices, the students were able to pair their endless creativity with powerful, professional-grade tools and create compelling digital media projects that speak out on the issues they most care about.”

Following are the winners of the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards:

    • Gold Award: Cambio Jovenes — Fermin Martinez, Puerta Joven (Mexico City, Mexico)
    • Silver Award: LOOK — Janice Lee and Anny Liu, Balboa High School (Redwood City, Calif., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: Change Starts With Oneself — Jeanvier Janga, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (Kralendijk, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba)
    • Gold Award: Hoodforts — Mile End Community Project (London, United Kingdom)
    • Silver Award: Small Dreams — Paola Bacialli, Alexis Barnes, Queenie Chan and Ally Moore; New Technology High School (Napa, Calif., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: On Moroccan Women’s Condition — Mohssine Azzouzi, Amina Ait cheikh, Hamza Hassnini, Mohamed Kassemi, Ghizlane Mhindat, Hajar Nabachi, Zineb Sebbar, Asma Tahir and Abdelhadi Zaatari; the Dounia Project (Casablanca, Morocco)
    • Gold Award: Keep Pushing — Tyler Gil-Contrearas, Roberto Guzman, Diamante Horton, Richard Kaho and PJ Poloai; Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., United States)
    • Silver Award: A Trip to Heaven — Mohammed Al Barghothy, Ahmad Kurdi and Zaid Negresh; PBYRC Computer Clubhouse (Amman, Jordan)
    • Audience Choice Award: Stop the Drop — Students of Christel House India (Bangalore, India)
    • Gold Award: Angel In My Sky — Fabio Aguilar, Edward Flores, Tyler Gil-Contreras, Ruby Gonzalez, Roberto Guzman, Diamante Horton, Richard Kaho, PJ Poloai, Jose Saavedra and Junior Tupou; Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., United States)
    • Silver Award: Gone — Jaley Bruursema, Anna Gould, Teagan Letscher, Elyssa Saldana, Avery Weiland; Burley Elementary School (Chicago, Ill., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: Finding Home — Mair Maher and Justin Santos, Father Henry Carr Secondary School (Etobicoke, Canada)
    • Gold Award: Dream — Chase Bortz, Warren Tech Career and Technical High School (Lakewood, Colo., United States)
    • Silver Award: Awareness — Edward Flores, Redwood City Peapod Academy (Redwood City, Calif., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: Let It Go — Meralney Bomba, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (Kralendijk, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba)
  • AUDIO:
    • Gold Award: Big Feet — Mystique Musicology: Vinny Cavalcanti, Austin Wolfe, Nick Miller, Emme Nelson, Angel Nolazco and Liam Elkington; Spy Hop Productions (Salt Lake City, Utah, United States)
    • Silver Award: Nothing’s Ever Permanent in Foster Care — Michael Jacobson, WNYC Radio Rookies (New York, N.Y., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: Change K(NOW)LEDGE — Ioane Vaioli, Boys & Girls Club NSMC (South San Francisco, Calif., United States)
    • Gold Award: I’m a Woman and I’m Proud — Javier Esquit, Asociación Acción por la Paz (Quetzaltenango, Guatemala)
    • Silver Award: Missing — Yisheng Pan, Boston Latin School (Boston, Mass., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: Alone — Vanessa Pena, Summit High School (Fontana, Calif., United States)
    • Gold Award: Propaganda Posters — Christian Ogando, Urban Arts Partnership (New York, N.Y., United States)
    • Silver Award: Bullied — Sadie Shephard, Hood River Valley High School (Hood River, Ore., United States)
    • Audience Choice Award: Occupy Wall Street: The 99%, Sophie Schwartz, Laurel School (Cleveland, Ohio, United States)

A list of semi-finalist entries can be viewed at http://youthvoices.adobe.com/awards/finalists.

Chris Arrant

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