BCTC duo places in top 5% in C-SPAN competition

Item photo by Shea Singley 
Shane Bowman and Vincent Truehart.
Item photo by Shea Singley Shane Bowman and Vincent Truehart.
Item photo by Shea Singley 
Shane Bowman and Vincent Truehart.
Item photo by Shea Singley Shane Bowman and Vincent Truehart.

Shane Bowman and Vincent Truehart, seniors at Berks Career and Technology Center, received honorable mention in C-SPAN’s StudentCam National Video Documentary Competition. The competition had 2,855 entries that were sent from all around the United States and internationally. Bowman and Truehart placed in the top 150 which is about the top five percent.

“That’s awesome,” said Truehart, of Wyomissing School District, on when their reaction when the two found out about their accomplishment. “It was pretty awesome.”

The seniors were honored during an assembly on May 29 which included representatives from C-SPAN and Comcast as well as their classmates, teachers, administrators and their mothers. Every year C-SPAN asks students to create a short five to seven minute long video documentary on a following theme. This year’s theme was “A Message to the U.S. Congress: What’s the most important issue the U.S. Congress should consider in 2014.”

Bowman, of Tulpehocken Area School District, and Truehart picked educational funding as their issue and featured students, teachers and clips of representatives speaking about education cuts and problems in their documentary titled “Dear Congress.”


Prior to the students being presented with their award, the video was shown to the group.

“We threw out a bunch of ideas together,” said Bowman. “It’s something that we’re affected by every day. So we thought, ‘why not address an issue that affects us?’”

The students were able to get three different sides to the issue which covered cuts to education and the decision that some teachers have to make when it comes to purchasing technology or buying new text books.

“It took about three months to put together,” said Truehart. “We actually started with writing a letter to Congress.”

Bowman and Truehart asked some of their peers if they wanted to be involved as well as their teachers. For the clips of the representatives, they used ones that their teacher James Del Conte had used for class.

“These two have done a great job in expressing their thoughts on the topic and interviews and issues and going beyond just the surface of an issue,” said a representative from C-SPAN.

The students advised future participants to get involved with the topic that the documentary is about to keep it from being generic and to also give themselves plenty of time during the making.

“We have to thank Mr. D of course,” they said. “And our moms. And everyone in our class and everyone here to see us get this award.”

Bowman and Truehart were presented with certificates and awards for their accomplishment.

Though they are not sure what they want to do career wise at this point, both have internships at BCTV coming up and are interested in independent film and music.

“This is really a big event for BCTC to have C-SPAN here with us today and I certainly want to thank C-SPAN and representative from their organization for providing an opportunity to students across the country to participate in the kind of competition that they have sponsored here,” said Dr. Robert Less, Berks Career and Technology Center Administrative Director.

While Bowman and Truehart spoke with their peers and the representatives, students were invited to tour the C-SPAN bus that was parked outside of the school.

To view the documentary go to https://vimeo.com/95141189.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.