Stepping Toward a Freer World
Honorable Mention



2019 High School Winners

2019 Protecting Human Rights


By: Jack Gasdia & Harper Colburn

Alvirne High School
Hudson, NH


Jack Gasdia and Harper Colburn are a junior and senior at Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire. Harper and Jack were encouraged to submit to the World of 7 Billion contest by a geography teacher who thought that they’d make a good team. That same week, a guest speaker came to their school and gave a presentation about modern slavery. Her passion and knowledge of the subject inspired Jack and Harper to pick the same topic for their video and bring awareness to even more people.

Harper had some prior experience in filmmaking, but the World of 7 Billion contest challenged her and Jack to figure out how to include a lot of information in a short amount of time. They spent weeks practicing their timing by writing multiple drafts and having Jack read them aloud to see how much time they took. It was difficult to balance including all the information they wanted while not speaking too quickly for viewers to understand. Luckily, the process was made easier by working in a team. Harper and Jack advise future participants to work with somebody you like who has strengths that complement your own, and to make a strong plan with a schedule you can stick to. Jack says, “it was more enjoyable and more exciting because we work well together and we get along.”

Jack and Harper both describe themselves as very involved at school. Both of them are involved in band and theater. Harper is in the honors society and yearbook, and will be attending the University of Vermont in the fall with an undecided major. Jack is in Model UN and on the debate team, and wants to study international relations in college.