Bronx students nominated for Eddy Awards

(L-r) ITV moderator Joan Sipe worked with Mount St. Ursula student Jerenee Charles on her photo essay titled, “Human Trafficking: Slavery of the Modern Era.” She was one of four Bronx students to receive a 2008 Eddy award.

On Thursday, May 8, local students gathered at the ITV Studios in Yonkers, anxiously awaiting the results of the 35th Annual Eddy Awards.

Of the 397 student broadcasters from 22 New York Archdiocesan schools, 14 Bronx youth received nominations.

 The Eddy, short for education, trophies are presented to students who best prepare and produce the weekly Archdiocesan television program “News and Views.”

High school and elementary students created 15-minute programs based on their opinions of important news topics and competed in ten categories of broadcast journalism.

The categories of Survey, Photo Essay, Feature, Interview, Debate, Editorial and Anchorperson, recognized individual achievement, while Research, Graphics and News Team, awarded teams for their achievement.

Enjoying the excitement of on-air reporting, the students at Visitation Elementary School, 171 W. 239th Street, began preparing for the competition in October.

Their moderator, Constance Brennan, said the kids chose their topic “The Real Celebrities” unanimously.

“They were sick and tired of the papers and television giving all this attention to celebrities for the wrong reasons,” she said.

The group’s nominated students, Cristal Soto, Nina Jones, Bianka Scott and Shianne Donovan focused on the project’s feature, comparing Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to who they consider the real celebrities, their own parents who struggled to succeed as immigrants in the United States.

“They were thrilled,” Brennan said. “It’s a wonderful experience for the children.”

At Cardinal Hayes High School, tenth grader Emmanuel Hoyos was also recognized for his production of a feature titled “Teen Obesity.” Hoyos said he learned of the project in his Channel H Media class where the students chose the topic.

“We would like to have more people informed of what teen obesity can do and how it can affect people’s lives,” he said.

Working with his classmates Majesty Perkins and Martin Moya, Hoyos was the reporter that brought the story home and subsequently received the Eddy nomination.

“I didn’t expect out of a class of 16 that I’d be the one to be nominated,” he said.

Preston students Sasha Panaram, Lissette Martinez, Christie Loui, Sharlene Juste and Mairim Melecio-Vazques were also nominated in a variety of categories for their work dealing with “The Mystery of College Admissions and Selection.”

The school had a strong showing at the Eddys with Catrina Muffoletto and Amanda Matos winning for their debate, and Afua Donkor for her interview, all focusing on the same subject.

Academy of Mount St. Ursula student Jerenee Charles took the title for her photo essay on “Human Trafficking: Slavery of the Modern Era.”

“The team did an excellent job researching and presenting their story,” said Cecilia Granda, an MSU spokesperson, noting that they received nominations for Research and Graphics.  “Their hard work, dedication and exceptional journalism have truly come across with these recognitions.”

His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, as well as Dr. Catherine Hickey, Secretary for Education and Sr. Marie Pappas, Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools, was on hand to celebrate the honor with the students.

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