Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice selected Malaika Wande from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring as the winner of his Councilmember for a Day V.O.I.C.E.S (Virtual Online Innovative & Civically Engaged Storytelling) challenge. Councilmember Rice, who chairs the Council’s Education and Culture Committee, developed the annual Councilmember for a Day challenge in 2016 to engage youth to write about an issue they care about and connect with local government to enact change. Last year, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and others, the Council enhanced the challenge to include V.O.I.C.E.S, a free afterschool digital storytelling program for all students in grades 8 through 12. Participants were provided a loaner iPad and mentored by an instructor as they learned to create a short video highlighting an important public policy issue and ways to help address it.
Councilmember Rice announced the winner at a virtual showcase on Wednesday, Nov. 9, where six finalists also were recognized. Ms. Wande’s winning entry was a compelling video on affordable housing in Montgomery County. She joined the Council on the dais as an honorary “Councilmember for a Day” and was recognized with a proclamation and a presentation of her video.
“I continue to be absolutely amazed by the video entries we receive and selecting the winner was a difficult decision,” said Councilmember Rice. “Our students, once again, demonstrated their talent and passion through these videos. I hope you’ll take a moment to view the showcase of videos submitted by these students. I know you will be impressed, as I was, by how their voices and video production skills demonstrate their passion around important community issues.”
“Today’s students are an inspiration and I hope this experience helps them understand how their stories can help elected officials develop policies and initiatives that respond to the needs in our communities. Their stories are compelling and speak to what is important to our young people today.” said Councilmember Rice. “My thanks go out to all of the students that participated, the instructors that guided them and our partners that helped make this a meaningful experience.” A video clip from the “Councilmember for a Day” event can be viewed here.