Area students honored during C-SPAN contest

Sam Houston High School students Colin Boudreaux, Reilyn Hilton and Trevor Jones received third-place honors in the national CSPAN StudentCam contest. The 10th grade AP United States Government and Politics students were the only winners from the state of Louisiana in the contest that featured more than 2,500 submissions from 44 states.

Kristen Harrell, AP instructor at Sam Houston and Sulphur High School, said while she has had students participate in the contest for several years, this is the first time she had students place.

“I told my senior class at Sulphur that I had to leave to meet with these guys about their award and they couldn’t believe it. They were like, ‘Whoa!’ Because they had competed when they were sophomore too. So yeah, it’s a big deal!”

This year’s competition required students to address the theme, “What’s Your Vision in 2020? Explore the issues you most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign.”

Hilton said the group considered immigration and supreme court ideologies before arriving at the idea of health care.

Describing a prescription medication she takes that retails at $50,000 per injection, Hilton said her family is fortunate to have health insurance that brings the copayment down to only $5.

“Without that we wouldn’t be able to afford it. That’s the scary reality. Let’s talk about that,” she told the group.

Boudreaux said he could relate to Hilton’s situation as he, too, takes a medication that retails anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.

“I wanted to see how that money was deducted and also I thought it was kind of unfair that people don’t’ have insurance and they’re paying that crazy price.”

Jones said the lack of fairness appealed to him, as well, and the group moved forward by finding a variety of interviewees to speak on the topic. The work culminated in the group’s awardwinning film “Prescription Drug Prices.”

Two politicians, one pharmacist and one physician are featured in the five-minute video. The guests provide professional insight into the debate with each guest presenting their own unique view.

Harrell said she required students to present at least two sides of their argument in order to produce a wellrounded work. “Prescription Drug Prices” presents the European model of drug pricing, the impact pharmaceuticals produced in the U.S. have globally and the extreme health risks individuals take to avoid paying high prices.

Regardless of where one falls in the argument, each student agreed the ability to digest politics is not as difficult as it may seem.

“We didn’t have to research much to find the advantages and disadvantages,” Boudreaux said.

Hilton agreed saying, “One way I kind of found out about pharmaceutical drug prices was actually like through podcasts. It’s something you can do while you’re doing other stuff, cleaning the house, getting ready for work or school. Listen and get information that way and it’s a lot easier.”

For those interested in health care, Jones suggested simply looking into their current drug plan for inspiration.

“This way they can see the benefit and then imagine what their life would be like without. It may cause you to think twice about certain things.”

Visit www.studentcam.org to view “Prescription Drug Prices” and the 150 winners.student cam

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