GREAT FALLS — Kimber Koteskey and Trinity Nicholson are sophomores at Foothills Community Christian School in Great Falls. For the past three years, the two have participated in an elective Video Production class.
The two won a national award through a C-SPAN video competition. This is the second time the two have placed in the competition in the last two years. Earning a $1,500 paycheck they plan to put towards college.
The two hope to educate the public on the Fentanyl crisis in America through their film, The Fight Against Fentanyl: America’s Next Pandemic.
“We came across just the issue of drugs in America and specifically fentanyl. And so it's devastating how popular it's becoming. And we really thought that it is our new or it is our new pandemic,” explained Nicholson.
The two are under the guidance of Dustin Bauer, who allows his students to expand their minds and express themselves through their projects.
“They're not afraid to talk about touchy things. They're very bold in their personalities. And I think more students need to be like that. I think they need to stand up for what they believe in. They need to talk about the important things,” explained Bauer, adding, “and this is our next generation. These are the kids that are going to be our world changers.”
In a community where Fentanyl has begun to make its presence known, the video comes as an opportunity for the younger generation to raise awareness.
The video is home to interviews from local law and enforcement, and state and federal officials, including Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and Senator Steve Daines.
The duo worked diligently to research and bounce ideas off one another.
“…and then sometimes we could split the workload like we entered a photo contest with it as well. She oversaw that, and I would edit while she was doing that so we could split the workload a little bit more. So, I think that was important.” Koteskey said.
Mr. Bauer continues to help the two fuel their passion for the craft.
“Trinity and Kim are fantastic students. You know, they've been around my video production stuff for three years now. The topic they chose was very relevant. You know, Montana right now has a very big fentanyl problem and it's all over the news. They decided that that was something that they wanted to talk about and discover and explore and see what the problems are and how to fix them.”
“Watching it, there's a lot of educated people that we had. We had a former judge, and an attorney, Senator Daines. They all do their research so they know the effects and how to be educated on it. It will just really help our community.”
Trinity and Kimber were granted first place in the competition, but one other student earned a rightful place as well.
Anna Bauer, daughter of the instructor, placed 3rd place and was offered a $750 prize for her film, Ideologies Aside: Protect our Schools.
Mr. Bauer also received a monetary prize to bolster the Video Production program at the school.
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