Molly McClellan, 17, made a video directed to minority communities to convince them to sign up to become organ donors.
While looking for firms that offer scholarships, Molly, was struck by the one called Legacy of Life Essay and Video Scholarships. The scholarship required students to give a 1,000-word essay or make a two-minute video convincing a specific community of people to sign up to become organ donors.
Her grandmother passed away due to kidney failure years back and this memory was the first thing to come to Molly's mind. "She died at age 65," Molly said. "I wondered if the technology [of today] would have helped her."
"Almost 75 percent of Americans believe organ donation is the right thing to do, but fewer than 50 percent have signed up on a state registry," according to the Washington Regional Transplant Community website.
Molly decided to make a video and direct it towards minority communities. In 2014, she said, only three out of 10 minorities were registered donors and she was shocked to learn how many people were waiting for an organ. Her video focused on dispelling some myths that are believed to keep people from becoming organ donors.
"What I tried with my video was to make it positive — because somebody dies," she said. "I looked at some of the videos from previous years and I like the ones that were more up beat."
Lesley Compagnone, manager of public affairs for Washington Regional Transplant Community, said the contest has been an annual event for more than five years. It started as an essay contest and extended to include video just last year.
"Last year we only hand a handful [of video entries], maybe ten. This year it was close to 50 entries." Compagnone said that the contest is beneficial in raising awareness on organ donation. "Especially the videos," she said. "We post the videos on our Facebook page. The ability to spread the message on social media is extremely valuable."