SM West Students Honored in Video Essay Contest

SM West Students Honored in Video Essay Contest
Shawnee Mission School District

Health Partnership Clinic honored three Shawnee Mission West students who used video to tell stories about youth health. 

HPC held the contest as it celebrates 30 years of providing quality, accessible, and affordable health care. Students were encouraged to submit a video responding to the theme of “The biggest health challenges facing youth.”

A panel of judges evaluated the submissions. First, second, and third place winners each received a cash prize and certificate for their accomplishments.

“The videos were powerful, moving, and one judge noted, ‘captivating and cinematic,’” Sunflower Health Plan community relations manager, Michelle Gines stated during the presentation. 

The winning videos will be shared at an upcoming luncheon and fundraiser for Health Partnership Clinic.

First place went to senior, Zeke Greenwald, for his video “Mental Health in High School.”

Second place went to Zackary Fornelli, junior, for his submission entitled “Anti-Vape PSA.”

Third place was awarded to Samantha Wallenburg, junior, for “Not Just a Statistic.”

Greenwald shared that it was important to him to choose a topic that was real and relatable. 

“I know a lot of people our age who are struggling with depression and mental health issues,” Greenwald added.  “I wanted to make a video to let others know, they’re not alone.”

Greenwald, Fornelli, and Wallenburg are all students in the video production program at SM West. 

Fornelli explained that he’s enjoyed the program and the creative opportunities it has provided. “Making videos is a great creative outlet.”

“If you have ideas and don’t know how to realize the ideas, video production is a space where you can express yourself and learn,” Fornelli expressed. 

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to see through the lens of our students,” Board of Education member, April Boyd-Noronha shared. “The submissions were real and warrant a moment to pause and think about a teens perspective of things today they may be grappling with.”

HPC operates a school based-clinic at SM West on Thursdays for all Shawnee Mission School District students and siblings, 3 to 20 years old. Click here for more information

Assistant Principal, Grant Dreiling, shared that the partnership has been a game changer for the SM West community. 

“We love the partnership and would like more. I can’t tell you the number of students and families that we work with that we can refer right down the hall. It’s been amazing,” expressed Dreiling.