Over 70 teams of students created original short videos to empower their peers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, competed for prizes up to $1,500
Santa Clara County, CA – The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announces winners for the 2021 VaxUp Video Contest. The video contest empowered youth to educate their peers about COVID-19 vaccination and to address misinformation. More than 70 teams made up of 123 students, all 6th through 12th graders from schools across the county, submitted 60-second videos.
“We received so many inspiring videos from students across the county,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara and Director of the Public Health Department. “Kids and teens have shown resilience, perseverance and maturity throughout this pandemic. We hope this contest gave youth a creative outlet to show our community what vaccinations mean to them.”
A diverse panel of volunteer judges selected winners for two categories: 6th to 8th graders, and 9th to 12th graders. Cash prizes were awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners: $1,500, $1,000, or $500 for the three top-scoring teams in each grade-level category, plus $500 for the schools with a 1st place winner. Prizes were funded through the VMC Foundation.
2021 VaxUp Video Contest Winners
Winners in 6th to 8th grade category
1st Place: Shrimath Senthil, Adam Rosas, Ethan Choi, and Alex Foisie from Discovery Charter School Falcon Campus in San Jose:
2nd Place: Ien Chen, Peterson Middle School in Sunnyvale: https://youtu.be/f3Xsn0MB_Qc
3rd Place: Sherif Elqursh, Hesan Helal, and Amr Ibrahim from Silicon Valley Academy in Sunnyvale: https://youtu.be/KJMZUz3M-J4
Winners in 9th to 12th grade category
1st Place: Reya Yeddula from University Preparatory Academy in San Jose: https://youtu.be/WxsmDs6NRhY
2nd Place: Daniel Moghaddam Panah from Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara: https://youtu.be/jjriJEZmHtI
3rd Place: Alejandra Blanco, Ana Blanco, Jovannah Uribe, Diana Morante Melendez, and Heidi Aguilar from Cupertino High School in Cupertino: https://youtu.be/kA2cUfWIX1s
Watch a recording of the livestream awards ceremony.
The Public Health Department’s Facebook facebook.com/sccpublichealth and YouTube youtube.com/user/SCCPublicHealth channels will feature contest videos over the coming weeks.
The Public Health Department appreciates the participation of volunteer judges: Juju Gaeta, Family and Children Services of Silicon Valley; Claribel Chavez, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley; Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools; Patty Cerrato, County of Santa Clara Public Health Immunization Program; Oscar David Argüello, Jr., Producer, Google; Shonda Ranson, City of Mountain View.
Youth age 16 and 17 years old became eligible in April for COVID-19 shots, while youth 12 to 15 years old gained eligibility in May, followed by youth 5 to 11 years old in November. On December 9, the CDC expanded eligibility for booster shots, with youth 16 and 17 years old now also recommended to get a booster shot. However, in Santa Clara County some groups of youth lag behind other groups in vaccination rates, underscoring the importance of persuasive peer-to-peer messaging.