Oakland Local

People spend a lifetime aspiring to win an Emmy for their creations on film and television. But some 17-year-olds from Oakland’s MetWest High School just won a junior Emmy last week for their work on an animated film about climate change.

The students, Guayo Cartagena, Samaiyah Zareef-Mustafa, Hector Verduzco and Kevin Gonzalez, are interns at Media Enterprise Alliance, where they learn all aspects of video filming, production and editing as part of a linked learning program at their high school.

They created an animated film: “The Wake Up Call: Oakland Youth Urge Citizens to Deal with Climate Change,” about the problem of climate change and what individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint and stem climate change.

It won a Regional Student Television Award for Excellence last week from the Emmy group, otherwise known as the The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, northern California chapter, for animation and graphics.

Their work at MEA is part of a linked learning program of the Oakland Unified School District and is supported by the Public Broadcasting Service’s KQED affiliate. PBS is currently featuring their video on its PBS News Hour Extra site for students.

“For the last two-and-a-half months we have been working on a global warming project, and we finally finished it. It’s an animation addressing many of the global problems that we face on a daily basis and the steps we can take in order to make sure that we stop perpetuating this horrible cycle of global warming,” wrote Hector, blogging about their video project on the PBS NewsHour Extra site, which is for students and teachers.

“Most people don’t know the real effects of climate change, so I feel that this video will bring awareness to this global problem,” wrote Samaiyah in the blog.

The students said they used Adobe Illustrator to create the shapes and Adobe After Effects to animate them.

Guayo said “The audience for our project is everyone, but especially youth. It is important for the youth of today to learn about global warming, not only because planet earth is our home, but also because we literally are the future.”

Their work will be shown at the next First Friday Shorts at the New Parkway Theatre on June 7, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The Media Enterprise Alliance works with the Oakland Unified School District to give students hands-on experience in the film and video news fields. This project was funded Open Circle Foundation and the KQED affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service.

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