Congratulations to our FINALISTS & Semi-Finalists and their sponsoring teachers! See all their videos here.

Our Finalists and special nominees will receive a little "video coaching" and create new videos for our May 7th final round -- our Festival Showcase and Awards Bash.

PUBLIC VOTE: The public vote for Semi-Finalists' videos ran for 7 days -- Friday, March 24 through Thursday March 30 at 8pm PST.

  • Each Division Winner won a $200 cash prize and an automatic berth to our May 7th final round. The OVERALL winner, Alivia D'Andrea, who exceeded the 4000-vote mark with 8106 votes will win a special prize.
  • All other finalists were determined by the merits of their original videos and judges' scores.


Alivia D'Andrea of Glendora High School in Southern California is our EarlyBird Winner! She won a $200 cash prize with her excellent video,"Ethnic Mirror." See it here:

Ethnic Mirror from Alivia D'Andrea.

FINALISTS Will Be Announced March 30th

Inspired by "The Voice" TV show, selected Finalists will have the chance to work briefly with a mentor in the arts & entertainment industry to update their original video in to a new "Showcase Video" for the April 23rd Festival and Awards Bash.

  • Due Monday April 17, these new Showcase versions are eligible for additional special prizes separate from the National Prizes, which are based on their original videos.

  • Winners also have a chance to win "US-China Career Discovery" mentorship meetings and lunches with executives from Alibaba, Tencent and areas like media, tech, gaming, venture capital and more.

2017 Theme: “Discover Your China”

To fully appreciate China’s diversity, complexity and nuances, it takes traveling there — journeying beyond standard tourist destinations, immersing yourself in the pulse of different regions, and engaging with locals, traditions and trends.

Our third annual Youth Voices Contest theme is “DISCOVER YOUR CHINA” and contestants were invited to submit creative videos describing a China trip they’d like to take and why.

Or, if they had already traveled to or lived in China, we invited them to share a memorable China travel story that might inspire more Americans to visit.

Whether it’s spending time in highly developed Shanghai, delving in China’s vast interior, or going completely off the beaten path, we looked forward to seeing videos focusing on "UNCOMMON China" and ones that were funny, poignant, cool, clever, romantic, or perhaps worthy of an action movie or documentary.

In general, the common threads among our winning entries are always those stories that are highly personal, original and engaging -- ones with unique perspectives that told us something about the filmmaker(s) and their personal interests.

For inspiration, we shared the2016 contest video by Williams College alum Ralston Louie, which was fitting for our "Discover Your China" theme:

Video Submission Categories

We invited students to create videos that help them discover "their own China," while aiming to inspire OTHERS to discover THEIR China. Video entries fell inne or more of these categories:

1. Following Your Passions
Travel offers new ways to pursue your passions and expand your global perspective. Tell us how your personal interests would shape a fantastic China itinerary.

From exploring the latest in robotics at Shenzhen's Maker Faire and tracking China's explosive soccer catching China’s top B-boy breakdancers in a crew battle or a live League of Legends Pro League showmatch in Shanghai...share your journey with us!

2. Unforgettable Memories
Did you face your fear of heights by walking across Hunan’s Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, the world’s longest, highest glass bridge at 1400 feet? Can’t stop talking about the unusual foods you devoured, like Guiyin’s fiery Lovers’ Tofu dish? Or about the cool new friends you made at Hangzhou’s Qiantang River Tidal Bore Festival, where pro surfers surfed 10-15ft waves inland? We want you to share THOSE moments — the bonding adventures and personal firsts that made your China trip truly unforgettable.

3. Making A Positive Impact
Do you love volunteering or making a meaningful difference? Tell us about a community service project you'd like to implement (or have done) in China that might help a community or neighborhood, a school, a local family or students and why it's important to you.

4. Discovering Your Roots
Every family has a unique genealogical journey, just waiting to be unlocked. Tell us about a trip you want to take to trace your family’s roots or ties to China, and learn about who you are in the world...or a past trip where reconnecting profoundly impacted you. For inspiration, check out this "Harlem to China" story, Finding Samuel Lowe:

What is Youth Voices On China?

Youth Voices on China is is the 1990 Institute’s annual national online video contest that leverages the power of video and social media to inspire and engage youth to positively impact the US-China relationship.

In an increasingly globalized, interconnected world, our future depends upon the relationships America has with other countries, most notably China.

Dialogue, cross-cultural understanding, and collaboration are the keys to a stronger US-China relationship, and we believe YOU — our youth — have the power, ability, the voice, and the creativity to strengthen it.

2017 Contest Judges

JUDGESJC headshot_Jury200x176
Joan Chen, the celebrated actress, filmmaker and 1990 Institute Board Member, is our Jury President who heads up our prestigious jury panel of 10+ judges for 2016, which includes Foreign Policy Magazine's David Wertime, Alibaba US head Annie Xu, Hollywood producer Janet Yang, George Lucas Educational Foundation's Milton Chen, Smithsonian Institute SVP Alan Chu, and Tencent's Victoria Wu and more!

Contest Basics & Eligibility

By entering our contest, you agree to our Official Contest Rules. Here are the very basics:

  • Youth Voices is open to Entrants competing solo or on a team of up to 3 members. All must be between age 13-25, and must be residing in the U.S. or China (as a legal resident or non-alien resident).
  • Entrants will compete in one of 4 divisions: Middle School, High School, College or Open. Your division is determined by your most senior registered team member.
  • Videos must be 3 minutes or less, address our theme and aim to inspire others to travel to and explore China
  • Videos should be done primarily in English -- the official language of our contest -- but Mandarin-language entries are very welcome this year. Any NON-English portions MUST be subtitled.

See our Judging Criteria here.

Photo Credits: Red Beach, Panjin, China - HAP/Quirky China News/REX; Harbin Ice Festival - KK Hoon, Reuters

Key 2016-17 Dates

Visit here for more key dates & details

o Now thru Feb 28, 2017
Students & teachers - Pre-register now to stay on top of contest updates!

o Tue Jan 10, 2017
Early Bird Deadline (by 11:59pm PST Tues night)

o Tue Feb 28, 2017
*NEW* Submission deadline (by 11:59pm PST Tues night)

o Mar 20, 2017 Week
Public Vote Challenge

o Mar 30, 2017
Public Vote Ends & Finalists Announced

o Mar 30-April 5
Coaching Sessions for Finalists for Showcase Videos

o Mon April 17
Finalists' Showcase Videos Due

o Sun April 23, 2017
YVOC Video Festival & Awards Bash, San Francisco at Delancey Screening Room (*date may change to Sunday May 7)

News & Events


  • Win a DRONE!
  • Select Winners & Finalists will earn Mentor meetings & lunches with US-China executives
  • Best birding-related entries will win a special Birding MegaPack from Birding Adventures TV, full of incredible gear & guides


Facebook Updates

Thanks to our Partners

About Us
The 1990 Institute was founded by a San Francisco Bay Area group of prominent academic, business, and community leaders. We are a non-political, 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to broaden understanding and build trust between the people of the United States and China through education, philanthropy and collaboration.
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