Today, I met with a cross section of Brewster High School students who serve on the newly formed Superintendent’s Student Advisory.  I asked them to respond to two questions: How would they describe to someone not familiar with Brewster what life is like as a student in the District? and What things would they change about being a student in Brewster? The student responses were thoughtful and targeted. This group will meet monthly to discuss their responses to these questions and figure out how to institute some of their recommendations. I want to spend as much time as possible seeing the District through the eyes of students. When I came across the Civic Life Project Youth Film Challenge, I thought about how neat it would be for students to use film as a medium for delving into issues about civic engagement and responsibility. Some students are not aware that they have a voice and their voice can lead to change and improvements in their school experience. I hope that there are some Brewster submissions to this Youth Film Challenge.

Hate speech, mistrust between police and minority youth, students’ First Amendment rights. These are topical headlines. However, how often can you view these stories through the lens of high school students? Civic Life Project’s (CLP) mission is to use digital media storytelling and community dialogues to engage students in civics education and public issues.
We are writing to invite high school and college students to participate in the Third Civic Life Project Youth Film Challenge.Students can take up our Challenge by producing a short form documentary on a civic issue of concern to them.
A highly esteemed panel of Jurors, including Dan Rather, Bill Moyers, Keli Goff and Lynn Sherr have agreed to review and judge all finalist entries. The award winning short films be screened at a special Gala Screening at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford on May 22nd.
Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and award winning students
Public screening and community dialogue
CLP was co-founded in 2010 by Emmy Award winning filmmakers and educators Catherine Tatge and Dominique Lasseur.
Their idea was to bring civics education to life through an updated curriculum and the tools of digital storytelling.
By teaching students how to plan, research, understand different sides of an issue and present a documentary, the process empowers students to delve beyond surface narratives and learn what it means to pursue thoughtful inquiry.
Instead of being polarized and feeling politically disenfranchised, young people discover their political potential and understand what it means to be an engaged citizen.
Learn more how you can participate at
Dominique Lasseur