Open & College Division  |  High School Division  |  Middle School Division

Please vote on the SHOWCASE videos (the coached videos) below!


MIDDLE SCHOOL DIVISION – Finalist Showcase Videos

 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Adam Guggenheim (Mark Day School | San Rafael, CA)

Coached by: Jimmy Haber

Description: This video is about my dream to travel to China to study Chinese and play soccer. I hope others learn about the growing and important role that soccer is playing in China and see that soccer is a great way for Americans and Chinese people to build friendships. I also hope that my video will inspire others to participate in the YVOC next year.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: I added more images and information about soccer in China, and also researched and included information about Ping Pong diplomacy and how sports, like soccer, can help us build stronger relations between the U.S. and China.

About my coach: He had great ideas about how I could focus my video and content that I could add. Thank you, Jimmy, for taking the time!

A final note:  Thank you to 1990, Jimmy Haber and my brother Ben for this incredible opportunity to explore and learn more about China. My two favorite things are learning Chinese and soccer. By making this video,  I learned a lot about soccer in China, including President Xi’s  passion for soccer that it is now part of the national curriculum.  It truly is my dream to play soccer in China!  This is my second time participating in the Youth Voices Contest and each time, I learn more about how to make a video.


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Sanford Whatley & Jay Noh  (Tenafly Middle School | Tenafly, NJ)

Coached by: James Q. Chan

Description: A rap performance on where we would go if we could go to China so we could learn about China’s culture and geography.  WE hope that other people would enjoy the music as well as the video itself, and learn something about China’s places.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: In the video, we changed it from just choreography to a more visual learning experience with picture and video “descriptions” of the lyrics adding to the choreography. We completely changed the soundtrack and added violin and guitar to it. We also added a “story” at the beginning of the video to make the video more interesting and exciting. Our coach was really helpful and we learned a lot from our coaching.

About our coach: Our coach suggested different shots to use and it made the video much more interesting. One of his main points was to incorporate ourselves in the video. He suggested we make the main point of the video about who we are and our interests. He also suggested we make references to the rap with pictures. We are grateful we got to talk to Mr. Chan, and it was a great learning experience.

What we learned in the process:  Editing music and videos is a lot harder than it seemed to me, but even though it was hard, I never stressed out about the process itself, and enjoyed working more on the song or the video, which made me think that one day I could be a musician because the idea of making music really made me excited.

A final note: At first, we started this competition for a little extra credit on our Chinese averages, but after we got into the finals, we worked as hard as we could to improve the video and music. Thank you to  our Chinese teacher Ms. Lane for introducing us to this competition.


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Isabella Nordstrom & Samantha Cheung (Alice Fong Yu Alternative School  | San Francisco, CA)

Coached by: Tonia Hsieh

Description: It’s important to find your roots because it helps you understand who you are. And to also take opportunities when you get them. On march 13th, we had the opportunity to go explore our roots in china.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: Instead of just talking about why we want to go to China, we decided to talk about our roots and why it’s important to find your roots. Samantha also talked a little bit about her father’s story.

About our coach: Ms. Hsieh was very helpful and gave us very good advise on how to make an inspirational video. She helped us by telling us to use more expression and by telling us that whatever we put in our videos has to go together with the theme.

What we learned in the process:  We had to talk to our parents a lot throughout this video and learned a lot about their past. We also had to figure out why we need to find our roots, and we learned so much about the videomaking process.

A final note: We learned so much because in the middle of this process we actually got to visit Chi We learned about the wonderful culture


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Chloe Vuong, Juliana Chen, Shirley Lin (Alice Fong Yu Alternative School  | San Francisco, CA)

Coached by: Felicia Lowe

Description: Although we all have different passions, they all link us to China on a personal level. We want people to let their passions bring them a new perspective.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: Unfortunately, the app that we used in our previous video had caused our video to be bad quality, so we decided not to use the same app again, especially since our video will be maximized on a big screen. We tried to strengthen the overall message of our video by connecting all of our parts with a unified theme. We also added our faces and pictures/footage of us doing the activities we describe to help make our video more impactful. We maintained the same concepts, but made quite a few changes to the content for our showcase video.

About our coach: Overall, our coach provided good, detailed advice.

What we learned in the process: We learned how difficult it is to make a video, and how to overcome those difficulties that we faced in our video-making process. We also  learned about how vast China is and how everyone can have a connection to China, whether they have ancestry leading back to China, or not.

A final note: Thank you to our supporters during the filming, those who voted for us in the public vote, and lastly our teacher, Cindy Bee.


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Rosie Di Troia, Lillie Cooper, Aerin Foley & team (Shady Hill School | Cambridge, MA)

Coached by: Wu Chaai

Description: This video is about the red pandas who live in Yunnan, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and the 800 year old city of Lijiang. We hope that people will realize that there are many endangered species in China that need our support (not just Giant Pandas) and that we can have an impact on supporting them and possibly improving their status, like the Giant Pandas.  We also hope people will be inspired to travel to places beyond the usual cities and famous sites.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: We re-shot the live scenes to make them more consistent, re-wrote and added to some of the scenes, changed the pictures to videos, re-timed the subtitles, and re-edited the video.

About our coach: Our coach was extremely helpful! Her insight and comments helped us to bring our video to the next level.

What we learned in the process:  We learned about the details that help make an effective video, such as wearing the same clothes for continuity.  We also learned about the Red Pandas, the beauty of Yunnan province and that China has many wonders to see, beyond the big cities.

A final note:  Thank you to Ju Laoshi for her support. We want to thank the 1990 Institute, and Monica Lee in particular, for holding this contest and bringing us to SF to participate – our first trip to the West Coast!  Lastly, the competition not only gave us lessons on making videos, but inspired us look more into Red Pandas and their endangered status


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Lena Hsia (with Alice Chanter & Anuhea Tao) | (Chinese American International School | San Francisco, CA)

Coached by: Felicia Lowe

Description: Journey to the ancient town of Wuzhen where a modern museum floats on centuries old canals and people celebrate the lunar new year with family and friends.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: We cut ourselves out of a number of shots so that the audience can concentrate on the film and not on us. For the shots we do appear in, we dressed more plainly. The bright T-shirts we wore originally were distracting the viewer from the interesting images, especially when we were standing right in front of them. We put more pauses in and spoke more slowly so the visuals can stand on their own and the audience can sit back and enjoy them, like the stunning paintings of Mu Xin and the beautiful bridges crossing the canals. We edited out the interview with a woman who had bought shoes in Wuzhen, because it did not really connect with the tradition of foot binding which was the main focus. We also made quite a few minor changes to the amount of time particular images are displayed and tried to improve the transitions to make the film more seamless. The lion dance scene at the end was made slightly longer, we increased the volume of the sound, and added a short slow motion visual effect to try and recreate the drama of the actual live event. A final touch at the very end was to have one of the presenters walk forward and fade into the closing credit picture as if she were about to begin her journey to visit Wuzhen.

About our coach: Our coach was amazing! She stepped us through our video frame by frame and pointing out how we could make it look and sound more professional. She treated us like professional film makers and gave us a very detailed, second by second, list of things to work on. One funny comment was when she suggested we featured ourselves less in the film and focus more on the content. “Your parents are the only people who want to see more of you”, she said : ).

What we learned in the process: Through this process we learned that even though it was quite challenging, because worked together as a team we were able to complete a project that we were proud of.

A final note: It has been a very rewarding experience entering the competition; we have had a lot of fun making our video and learned a lot in the process. Thank you to our parents, Mr. Ross, and Felicia Lowe for all their support


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Gabriella Quach, Cameron Louie, Ashley Mak  (Alice Fong Yu Alternative School | San Francisco, CA)

Coached by: Monica Lee

Description: In this video, we updated Cameron’s speech; it now focuses more on his host buddy and their differences. Ashley’s speech was changed, because she already went to China and experienced what she hoped to. We also added a part about the recent 8th grade China trip. For the interview with Ms. Chao, we added photos to really make more meaning of what she was saying. All parts of the video had more visuals, to make it more eye appealing.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: This updated version of our video elaborated more on why it was significant in finding our ancestral roots.

About our coach: Very, she helped us understand what could be improved, and gave us feedback on how to do so.

What we learned in the process: We learned so much more about our ancestral root, by asking our parents and looking through pictures. We learned that China’s actually a very interesting place and isn’t actually as bad as people say.

A final note:  Thank everyone who made this video possible, especially our teacher Ms. Chao. By making this video, we learned so much more about our family roots than we ever did before. Thank you to 1990 for hosting an amazing contest and encouraging youth to learn more about China.


 Video After Coaching  Video Before Coaching

By: Joshua Park & Jay Guo  (‘iolani School | Honululu, HI)

Coached by: Milton Chen

Description: China is a bright nation but is burdened by the all-too-frequent rejection of impaired students.

Short synopsis of what you updated in this version of your video: After receiving valuable coaching from Milton Chen, we were able to make significant changes to the audio quality of our video, as well as improve on our impact. We were able to use the microphone provided at our school to significantly improve our production quality. We were also able to add a personal connection to our video to create a deeper impact and a stronger video.

About our coach: We had known from the start that our audio was shaky and that we may not have explained how strongly we were connected to our topic, as well as various little inconsistencies here and there, but we weren’t quite sure how to fix them, and therefore we figured it would be easier to leave them and simply discount them as inconsequential. With the specific instruction from experts in their industry on how to fix these problems, we were able to improve our video in the most efficient way possible.

What we learned in the process:  We had a taste of the life of a video-maker and it has opened up a path for our futures which had not been obvious to us prior to this experience. Also, we found out about our school’s audio-visual department which we intend to take advantage of for future school projects. China-wise, China is a greatly diverse nation with a plethora of sights to visit. However, like all nations, there are many problems that the government and others are working to improve.

A final note: China is an incredible nation, but have challenges that need to be solved. We hope that our video strikes people hard enough to motivate them to do something—anything—about the problem we presented. Thank you to  谢老师, who introduced us to this competition, Ilya, CEO of Powtoons who gave us a free upgrade, our parents for their undying support.  We hope to do this again; it’s been quite the experience.



Open & College Division  |  High School Division  |  Middle School Division