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Turn to Jesus (Article)

New England’s New Tradition
Challenge teens’ video contest going seven years strong

Challenge club of Banford
The Challenge team from Banford with their first prize plaque.

By Erin Rockenhaus

Warwick, RI. May, 15, 2009. Traditions die hard in New England. But, new ones are also being born, one of which is the “Annual Challenge New England Video Contest.”   

Now in its 7th year, the contest gathered ten teams of teenage girls in Overbrook Academy on the scenic Warwick Bay in Rhode Island on April 25, 2009. 

“This year’s theme ‘Love Never Fails’ let the girls invent a dynamic way to act out this idea,” said Kristin Winter, one of the event organizers. “Given that it is the year of St. Paul, this theme is really appropriate.”

Prior to this contest, the teams spent hours scripting, acting, filming, and editing their unique videos. The videos were judged on their message, creativity, performance, and editing and sound quality. 

At the contest, the teams took stage one by one to present their videos and to tell about the other service projects
Challenge girl from Overbrook
A Challenge girl from Overbrook Academy shares about her experience in Challenge apostolates has helped her.
they had done during the year.  Magic tricks, music, prizes, and enthusiastic cheers accompanied the team presentations.

This year’s winning video, produced by the Branford team, gave a creative twist to the theme by setting it within a tale of a princess trying to cure her sister’s illness.  

Another surprise was the first-time entry from St. Philips’ Parish in Smithfield, RI who came away with the prize for best editing and sound. This team, formed from a religious education class, decided to enter the contest and then met in their free times to shoot their prize-winning video. 

“We all had different ideas for the video, but we were able to come up with this one video together as a team, and as a family,” one of the participants from the Overbrook Academy Challenge team noted. 

Afterward, Elena Orozco, who has been a contest organizer since its beginning, summarized the event, “This activity
Challenge team
The Challenge team from Worcester won 3rd place.
brings out the best of the girls, fosters team work and creativity, and bonds them together. Plus, it is a lot of fun and brings the whole family together.”

She noted how the contest helps young people learn to use mass media to promote Christian values and to change culture from within.

One mother agreed with these sentiments.  After her daughter’s team won the contest, she remarked, “The girls really learned that love never fails.”

She expressed gratitude to Challenge for helping educate and form young people in the world today, “I trust that Challenge will be a true support for protecting my child’s faith and relationship with Christ.”



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