Local student’s documentary is national competition winner

Published 8:46 am Friday, April 7, 2023

Jacob Jewell, a student at College Street Vocational Center in Lake Charles, is a second prize winner of C-SPAN’s nation-wide StudentCam competition. Jewell will receive $1,500 for the documentary, “The Forgotten Coast,” about levees and protecting Louisiana’s coastline from hurricane damage and storm surge. This documentary will air on C-SPAN on Saturday, April 15, at 5:50 a.m. CST and throughout the day.

“C-SPAN announced the topic in September 2022,” said Jewell’s teacher Britney Glazer, Television Production Instructor at College Street Vocational Center.  “If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why? I gave all of my Television Production students at College Street Vocational Center the opportunity to take on this documentary project as their big assignment for the Fall, and had three ambitious students take it on.”

Glazer said the students discussed other topics,  such as managing inflation, fossil fuels, gun reform, school safety, and then Jewell’s – coastal protection and restoration.

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“This is a topic he is passionate about and one that I knew he would knock out of the park,” she said.

Jewell said it’s alarming that a lot of people don’t know about this issue, and it’s not just an issue for Cameron Parish.

“If we do nothing, then Cameron parish will no longer exist. Then communities further inland, like Lake Charles, will be next. Without that massive LNG industry here, then the entire nation will suffer as a result. We are currently the largest exporter of LNG in the world and if that disappears, that affects the rest of the globe,” Jewell said.

He started work in late November, and finished around mid-January.

“The biggest challenge was keeping the documentary in the required timeframe,” he said.

The video shows a very articulate and self-assured Jewell, but he wasn’t always this way, he said. The more he was on camera, the more confident he became. He had done some interviews and shot some video for a previous class.

“At College Street Vocational Center, I take a class called Television Production where we learn everything from how to use a tripod, how to film professional video, how to write a script for a news story and how to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro, among other things,” Jewell said. “You learn a lot here, and it’s helped me get my foot in the industry.”

Nearly 3,000 students participated, and C-SPAN received over 1,500 entries from 40 states, Washington, D.C. and Abu Dhabi.  “For the first time in the history of the competition, we asked students to envision themselves in a position of power, as newly elected members of Congress,” said Craig McAndrew, director of C-SPAN Education Relations. “Capitalizing on the platform of short film, these passionate young people masterfully showcased the fruits of active learning, and we are excited to share their work with the country.”

Jewell plans to join the National Guard before enrolling at Sowela Technical Community College in the videography program. He would also like to work at KPLC-TV before going to Mississippi State for a degree in meteorology.

C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, who also support StudentCam. In Lake Charles, C-SPAN is available locally through Optimum.