Two years ago, Tiyan High School student Lexis Sablan heard of a video competition on climate resiliency, and while she thought it was intriguing, "I didn't think I'd have a chance of winning."
Several months ago, a little older and a little more confident, she figured "Why not?" and joined the competition. She did some research.
"I decided to focus on agricultural productivity," Sablan said.
Her 60-second video is packed with information on the need to rethink how nations farm in light of climate change, which threatens productivity.
She won. And in doing so, earned a $1,000 cash prize that the incoming Titan senior said she's setting aside for college.
She's among 18 winners in the 9th annual "World of 7 Billion" video contest sponsored by Population Connection, according to a press release from the organization.
More than 5,000 students in grades 6 through 12 from 35 countries and 46 U.S. states and territories participated in the competition. The videos explored population growth as it relates to one of three challenges: Improving Climate Resiliency; Sustaining Water Systems; and Ensuring Economic Opportunities.
The three high-school first-place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize, while the three second-place winners each received $500 and six honorable mentions each received $250. Middle-school students who claimed first and second place received $500 and $250, respectively, the press release stated.
"These students showed a sophisticated grasp of some really complex issues, as well as innovative ideas," said John Seager, president of Population Connection.
In addition to educating viewers about their chosen topic and how it relates to human population growth, students had to include at least one idea for a sustainable solution.
The winning pieces were on topics as varied as microfinance, urban sanitation systems, climate justice and overfishing.