214@100: Award-winning video highlights Hersey's giving nature

John Hersey High School students Owen Connor and Elise Bang spent several months filming and editing a video to show how deeply their school community cares about giving back. Their hard work paid off: This spring, the film received an Honorable Mention at the 2015 White House Students Film Festival.

Connor and Bang, both media tech students, documented the school's ALS bucket challenge in the fall, canned food drive near Thanksgiving and a winter holiday fundraiser for Army Sgt. Jason Smith, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan.

In their footage, they highlighted how the school's philanthropy went above and beyond to make life easier for individuals and organizations. Students collected 51,000 cans for area food pantries and raised $18,000 for the sergeant.

"I've been in education for 37 years and I've never seen anything quite like what we've experienced at John Hersey High School," Hersey Principal Gordon Sisson says in the three-minute video, which features interviews with some who benefited from the school's charitable giving.

As part of the honorable mention, the film was featured on the White House's website in a film festival playlist.

Watch the video at

Sgt. Jason Smith is introduced to an assembly of 2,000 students and staff members from John Hersey High School on Dec. 19, 2014. Daily Herald file photo
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