This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
Now that the Ontario Mining Association has launched season five of its high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining, perhaps it is a good time to hear from some of the winners from season four. These students who received their awards in June 2012 at the SYTYKM awards ceremony at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto are a talented and creative group of young people who are moving forward with their education and their careers. They have benefited from participation in this OMA film making initiative. Let’s see what some of them have to say about SYTYKM.
Hananeel Robertson from Don Mills C.I. in Toronto won the Best Writing Award for “OMG! Ontario Mining Girls.” “When the project was introduced to my class, the word mining just threw me off completely but when I started doing research, I was blown away. Not only did I learn from making my video but from watching others,” she said. “The whole contest opened my eyes to realizing that the necessities in our everyday lives would not be available to us without mining.”
“Winning means the world to me and it has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Hananeel. She is using her award money to help cover tuition at the University of Ottawa, where she is majoring in Communications. “I am not quite sure what exactly I want my career to be but I am leaning towards the media or public relations,” she said. “Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up in the mining industry.”
Brooklyn Vercrussen from St. Anne’s high school in Clinton was the first runner up for Best Overall Video for her video “Surviving the Storm,” which included spectacular footage of a tornado lashing a Lake Huron beach in Goderich. “My Mom is a comtech teacher and she really persuaded me to make a video for the competition because not only would it be a great learning experience but also a great way to get scholarship money,” said Brooklyn.
“I definitely know more about our local mine in Goderich and I had no idea that it was the largest salt mine in the world and how far it actually is located under the lake,” she said. “I have used the money I won to pay off my tuition and after I have graduated, I hope to become a school teacher.”
Peter Lilly from Lawrence Park C.I. in Toronto was a double winner. He earned the Best Directing Award for “Mined Over Matter” and the OMA Academy Award. He used his SYTYKM prize money to buy a new camera and to help cover his tuition at Ryerson University where Peter is in the Film program. “I had no idea how much we rely on mining in our daily lives,” he said. “Winning gave me further encouragement to pursue my goal to be a professional film maker.”
Leah Gosselin from Theriault high school in Timmins won for “Une affaire indispensable” in the Best video in a language other than English category. “I love making videos and because my community is so largely dependent on mining are two reasons why I entered the SYTYKM competition,” said Leah. She plans on using her winnings for university funds and “hopefully a Jeep” and Leah wants to study linguistics and speech pathology. Leah won a SYTYKM runner-up prize a year earlier for a video production in English.
Omar Hoblos, from Don Mills Collegiate in Toronto won in the Best 30-Second Commercial category for “Without Mining.” He is studying at York University and is taking the Information Technology stream of the Administrative Studies program. He aims to pursue a career in IT. Omar says participating in SYTYKM helped him learn about planning, problem solving and team work.
Our SYTYKM winners all have good stories and we will hear from more of them in the future. However, one thing that is common to all is the support of parents and teachers. Many dedicated and creative high school teachers in Ontario embrace the SYTYKM program and provide limitless encouragement and support for their students. Without their backing, the OMA’s high school video competition would not have reached the level of success it has achieved and many students would not have received moral and monetary support to pursue their dreams.