The Importance of Maternal Health
2021 High School Winners
Strengthening Global Health
By: Amrita Guha
Amrita Guha is a freshman at Alsion Middle/High School, a Montessori school in Fremont California, where she has lived her whole life. Amrita learned about the contest from her AP environmental science class where it was a requirement to participate. Of the three topics, Amrita chose to focus on maternal health because it was being discussed in her class. Through her rigorous research process, she shared how she “was startled to see how deep-rooted maternal health was as a global health issue and wasn’t truly exposed before and I wanted to raise awareness.”
For her video, Amrita used Claymation, an animation method in which clay figures are filmed using stop-motion photography. This was Amrita’s first time using Claymation and also her first time filmmaking. “Artistically, I didn’t have any specific medium I was good at. I asked my mom, could you buy some clay or something and that’s how I got started on the Claymation,” she said. Amrita used Claymation for her video to shine amongst other contestants, she strategized and took note of the archived winners and what they did to win. Amrita faced many challenges during the process as a first time filmmaker, such as “the timing of the clips and making sure they correlated to the information I was presenting.” She persevered and, after many trials, submitted her video. This was Amrita’s first time winning any award, and as an award winner she advises future contest participants to not get discouraged and to make sure the video process is not too stressful on themselves. For next year’s contest, Amrita suggests a topic on biodiversity and human beings’ relation to ecosystems and its impact on the population.
As for the prize money, Amrita is a co-founder for a non-profit combating anti-Asian hate and will be using the cash to begin producing tote bags and donate the profits towards other organizations doing similar work. “The rest of my money I’d give to my parents and to my elders”, she added. In her free time, Amrita does competitive gymnastics and would like to get back to that after the pandemic. She also likes biking, cooking and hanging out with her friends.
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