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Irvington HS Students Win in Directing for Change Competition


Several students from Irvington High School were recognized for their work in the 2017 Directing for Change Competition. The state-wide contest engages students and young people throughout California to learn about the topics of suicide prevention and mental health through the creation of 60-second, short films. The competition includes three categories: Mental Health Matters, Suicide Prevention & Cultural Connections. Winners are chosen among six regions in the state of California.

The film “Make a Ripple submitted by Irvington students Shreya Barma, Vishaank Ghai, Jessica Lee and Kevin Trieu was selected as the 1st-place winner in the Mental Health Matters category for region 4. The film will be considered among other region winners for first-place overall in California at a red carpet event in San Diego May 11th. See the film here.

In addition, The film “Unnoticed submitted by Irvington students Manya Bali, Siddharth Bansal, Aparna Iyer, Ankita Kini was selected as the 2nd place winner in the Suicide Prevention category for region 4. See their film here. Irvington also earned two Honorable Mention awards in the category: Smile” submitted by Sourish Agarwal, Satyak Handa, Ganesh Sankaran, Rishabh Bhat and Aryan Varshney; The Reason” submitted by Michelle Brown.

The Directing Change Program starts with exposing youth to knowledge about the topics of mental health and suicide prevention by providing instructional tools to educators, educational resources to youth, and additional resources to further learning about the basic components of suicide prevention. From here, youth must apply suicide prevention knowledge to formulate and create their own unique message about suicide prevention for their peers. The creative process of filmmaking requires youth to synthesize their knowledge resulting in a deeper level of understanding.   Directing Change, integrates sound pedagogical principles into the filmmaking process so that participants are engaged via all methods of the “learning spectrum” to see, experience, discuss, and apply. Youth are challenged to critically analyze key components of suicide prevention and how best to communicate these in their films.  Once created, films are used in schools and communities to raise awareness and start conversations about these topics. Visit for more information.