A Laramie High School sophomore was honored Monday morning in a ceremony for winning the second prize in C-SPANs’ annual student video documentary competition.

At the ceremony at LHS, C-SPAN presented a StudentCam certificate of merit and an oversized check for $1,500 to Arundathi Nair in front of her classmates, teachers and family members to recognize her achievement.

The theme of this year’s competition was “The Constitution & You: Choose a provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it’s important to you.” Nair won second prize for her submission “Freedom of Expression is a Human Right, Censorship a Human Wrong.” Nair said her documentary explores the First Amendment and she said she interviewed many people from her community for her documentary, including University of Wyoming professors.

“I interviewed different people around the university and mostly relating to people in political science, people in journalism and people in science, because those were the areas I wanted to do were journalism and science,” Nair said.

Nair said she was able to get footage from the Newseum in Washington D.C. during a recent trip for a National History Day competition. She said she was very inspired by what she saw in the Newseum and it helped her choose which amendment she wanted to feature in her documentary.

C-SPAN Education Programs Specialist Pamela McGorry said during the ceremony that Nair’s second-prize win was impressive, since C-SPAN received a record 2,985 video submissions from across the country for this year’s competition.

Laramie Mayor Andrea Summerville and City Councilor Pat Gabriel attended the ceremony and encouraged other LHS students to use their voice.

“Aru is a great example of the youth voice and how you can get involved,” Summerville said. “The youth voice and youth opinion is growing and it is very powerful.”

Nair said she became interested in the StudentCam competition after her mother pointed it out, saying that it would be out of her comfort zone.

Nair's documentary, along with the other winning submissions, can be seen here.