Courageous Persuaders Award

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) hosted the annual Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration

at which high school students, who took a stand against underage drinking, drinking and driving, and texting and driving, won $23,000 in scholarships and awards. The event, which took place on Wednesday, May 20 at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, Mich. Renowned Detroit television personality Huel Perkins, anchor at WJBK FOX2, was the MC for the event.

The DADA is the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program, which is facilitated through the DADA Education Foundation.Courageous-350

“The importance of the Courageous Persuaders message cannot be understated,” said DADA President Sam Slaughter. “By discouraging underage drinking, drinking and driving, and texting and driving, these young people can impact those that follow and admire them, passing forward the message that it is not ok to drink underage, drink and drive, or text while driving. It is a program of hope for a better, wiser and more responsible generation of young people.”

Now in its 15th year, Courageous Persuaders is a competition where high school students create 30-second television commercials warning middle school students about the dangers of underage drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving. The contest drew 478 entries from 192 high schools, and involved thousands of students from schools throughout the U.S., Canada and Armed Forces of Columbia.

SVN had a chance to speak with John Mozdzierz, Howell (MI) High School about his school's entry.

Courageous01-350Tell us about your background and how you decided to start teaching TV/Video production?
Started out in the creative industry as a designer in high school and progressed to Courageous-350art/creative director with a degree in design. Worked for 25 years in advertising, marketing, and graphics. During that time I was fortunate enough to be able to train many artists and began to enjoy helping others excel, so I returned to school for teacher certification and a Masters degree at eastern Michigan University and have been teaching at Howell High School for the last 11 years.

How did you obtain initial funding for your program? How do you fund the class now?Courageous02-350
Departmental budget, donations, and occasional technology bonds. With many districts struggling with state funding, the need to shift traditional budgetary understandings to include technology is a very important part of being a successful educational system for our future.

Did you have equipment available?
Not at first, I had to make many proposals for equipment, materials, and understanding, as well as new and improved classes to support the trending needs of post secondary education and professional industry needs.

How many kids are in the TV/Video Production classes? How is it broken down? Is it a multi-year program?
Each year is different depending on interest. It can range from 20 to 35 students per class, with classes ranging from semester-long digital imaging for beginners to advance year-long classes for video, graphics, and social media.

Courageous03-350Can you tell us a little more about the sessions: How long are the classes? How many students? What types of projects?
Projects change each year with the foundation lessons staying intact. Vector-based drawing, pixel manipulation, multi-media, story-telling, creative problem solving and critical thinking. Lessons supporting elements & principles of design, color theory, psychology, customer-based relationships, real world experience, contest, competitions, and scholarships.

How many kids to do the morning news broadcast? Do you also do a weekly broadcast? Special events coverage?
We do have a TV Production class, which is taught by another excellent teacher. My classes emphasize more of the creative problem solving process and not so much production, although production is an important piece to our learning.

What jobs do the kids do? Do the kids rotate through on-air talent and crew positions or are they “hired” for a specificCourageous04-350 task?
Students are leveled based on their strengths, some are good at concept, others at customer relations and production. Our advance students participate at a level of what an actual creative business would encounter

Do you submit programming to independent contest such as those sponsored by StudicaSkills and SchoolTube TV?
We are always looking for ways to promote our students and their abilities. We enter many contests and scholarships. North American International Auto Show, Courageous Persuaders, local, state, and national competitions. What ever we can find to fit our curriculum schedule.

Can your broadcast be viewed outside the school? District-wide? Local cable access? On your school/district web-site?
Entries can be viewed at competition site

Courageous05-350Where do you post programming? YouTube? Vimeo? SchoolTube? SVN-TV? Other?

Do you have an equipment list you can share with our readers?
Web cams, digital video cameras, Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, Adobe software, Apple software, various third party software for editing, recording, and manipulating, color printers, projectors, green screen and lighting. We can always use more.

Have any quick start tips!
Keep looking for changes and trends.