Anonymous payment saves mass media trip


Courtesy of Kadesha Bonds

At last year's Student Television Network convention, pictured above, Wilson students took home multiple top prizes.

Max Karp

Wilson’s Mass Media program was not adequately funded by DCPS for an end-of-school-year convention held in Seattle. The convention, Student Television Network (STN), showcases students’ media work and awards certain students for achievements in filmmaking and video skills. No individual reason was cited for the lack of funding from DCPS for the trip, but an anonymous source ended up funding the entirety of the trip for the students at the beginning of February.

“I double checked with [DCPS], went to get the plan together, and then they tell me in November that our trip didn’t get approved,” said mass media and communications teacher Kadesha Bonds. Bonds added that, as the planner of the trip, it is “very frustrating” to not have sufficient time to prepare for the trip with no funding.

The anonymous source decided to fund the entire trip for this year weeks after funding was denied, negating the current issue of funding but not the lack of DCPS support for the trip.

STN is an annual media convention that brings many of the country’s top student filmmakers together for a weekend of competitions, awards, and more. At the convention, students are recognized for their work in mass media, while also tasked with creating videos for other various competitions.

Wilson has enjoyed recent success at the annual convention. Last year, Wilson took home first place for the “Short Film” category at the convention, as well as second place for the “Feature Edit” category.

This is not the first time that the trip has been denied funding by DCPS. Last year, funding was denied for STN in Nashville, due to the fact that DCPS trips are not allowed to go to places with policies deemed anti-LGBTQ. Students had to fund the trip themselves, with some financial support from the PTSO but none from the school system.

Mass media students were frustrated by the temporary lack of funding by DCPS. Junior Charlie Nichols, a third-year mass media student, believes that STN is an important event for mass media students. “STN is a super unique experience that, in this field, you can’t really find anywhere else, so it’s really important for us to go,” said Nichols. He added that “seeing the funding get denied was super disappointing” for him and his mass media peers.

Senior mass media student Justin Upshaw agrees with Nichols. “It’s annoying because the mass media program consistently wins awards at STN,” Upshaw said. He added that the convention is important for rising college students with interests in mass media, citing that it is a “great way to see what professionals think of your work.”