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Thursday, March 24, 2016

MISD Students Gain National Recognition for Documentary

A call for politicians to make serious changes to the country’s foster care system is what earned two Mansfield ISD high school students national attention.

Makenna Hennegan and Kristen Laurie, from Lake Ridge High School, received an honorable mention by C-SPAN for their documentary “To a Good Home.” The cable network’s StudentCam contest received more than 2,500 entries nationwide.

The junior and sophomore duo entered the contest through a project in their Ben Barber Career and Technology Academy film class. Hennegan said the topic has been dear to her for a long time.

“I always cared about the foster care system,” said the 11th grader. “Some of these children live in deplorable conditions. I’ve heard stories where children are locked away without food.”

Laurie (second to right) and Hennegan (right) received a tour
of the C-SPAN bus that was parked outside of the ceremony.
The students interviewed teenagers and adults who were victims of a flawed foster care system. Counselors were also interviewed in the video to shed more light on the situation.

“I think the most emotional part of the video is when one of the people we interviewed said that every child deserves a good home,” said Laurie.

The two filmmakers received their award at a ceremony at Ben Barber on March 22. A representative from U.S. Congressman Joe Barton’s office presented them with a personal congratulatory letter.

“I would like to commend both of you,” the letter from representative Barton stated. “Issues such as these are often drowned out on the national level, and I salute you for your work to point out where the federal government can change people’s lives for the better in tangible ways.”

Hennegan and Laurie won $250 for their documentary. They said they will use the winnings to start their next creative film project.