EAST wins the Founders Award


Mattie Boelkens, Reporter/Photographer

The MHHS EAST program was recently announced as a winner for the Founder’s Award, the program’s highest honor. Students in the program were given a shorter time period to shoot and edit a video that would showcase their projects. Normally, EAST students would start planning in November and submit it in January. This year, however, wasn’t announced until January, they were told that they would have 3 weeks to finish the project and submit it by their deadline.

“EAST students were absolutely amazing, so what they did is one person that was not in quarantine had the microphones and the equipment and they would drive it back and forth to different people’s houses and they would sit outside each others windows to record different pieces for the videos, they would sanitize everything and then they would take different hard drives, so yeah quarantine definitely slowed things down,” ”

— Mrs. Pugsley

“but the good news is that we had a lot of the video components ahead of time because of the projects that we’ve been working on since August. We’ve been involved in two yes votes for Mountain Home, trying to get the Community Center passed. We’ve done the marketing materials and videos for that, and we were involved with a food bank in North Central Arkansas. It was their grand opening celebration because they couldn’t have a traditional grand opening.” 

“We helped them do a virtual grand opening so they were in charge of printing the Save the Dates and invitations, we put a QR code on the Save the Date that actually linked to a video that Jeff Quick the CEA and that video gave people kind of just a sneak peek as to what the building would look like, and then the night of the event EAST students served food, they did all the photography and videography, and they were in charge of all of the speeches and then they put everything together into one 40 minute video for the community. We were also involved in Baxter County outside, so they have been picking different locations around Baxter County to film to encourage people to get outdoors, they’ve been working on a book trail which will be working in the city of Mountain Home and a lot more projects can be found in that video. Josh Dodson, Zach Baldwin, Audrey Young, and Nathan Williams are the founder’s team that worked so hard to make that video happen.”

“This is my first year of high school EAST so I don’t know too much about previous submissions but a big difference was that we didn’t have Mrs. Pugsley here because Mrs. Pugsley took another job as CEO of the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce, so she wasn’t here during that process and Lauren Dewey, who’s a big part of EAST and does a lot for EAST, was quarantined the week we had to film the video so it was very stressful and hectic but it was very rewarding too because it was very much all us and it was last minute, it was ‘this is what we have to do’ and it came out great,” says Audrey Young. 

“Well EAST is a very collaborative organization and I think because of how collaborative it is and how at the same time individual it is because it’s very much you take charge of it, having that basis of being able to work by yourself but also knowing these people and having had several experiences working with people it’s very easy for us to work together so I think that’s what allowed us to do it. One thing that I can say that I was involved with and others were involved with was the ‘Hello my name…’ which is, you were competing for a position for a general internship at EAST and for the conference, we had four finalists and I was one of them, so we submitted our final process for the finalist thing Friday. We did several others but it was you have a series of questions and answers for each one so we just got grouped for 3 people per project or submission that we decided to do and we worked together to complete the questions,” states Audrey.

“The process for Founders was pretty much the same as in the past, we were supposed to submit a 10-minute long video of how our EAST program excels to be a Founders winner. The process of creating the Founder’s video was extremely difficult as Lauren Dewey and I abruptly got quarantined and had to make any changes to how we were going to get video content. But truly getting quarantined helped us spend more time working on the video,” says Sophie Quick.

“ When we were first quarantined, we were honestly stuck and did not know what we were going to do as we had spent a lot of time planning exact dates when we were going to film. Getting quarantined made an abrupt decision that would not be possible. While Lauren and I were quarantined, we spent a lot of time on Facetime planning everything. Lauren worked with those that were not quarantined so that everyone could be involved. Because I was quarantined, I spent some time outside her closed window to record a voice-over!”, says Sophie.

“It was an extremely cold and windy day, so a blanket over my head was required. The MHHS EAST program has worked on many events this yea

r digitally and in person. We recorded the grand opening of the Food Bank. This event could not be open to the entire public, so recor

ding the video was a major way that Food Bank allowed the community to see their new facilities. We have also live-streame

d the MHHS Homecoming and Sweetheart events and the MHJH Royalty. We also live-streamed the annual Veterans Day Ceremony. We have also been involved in the 2 Yes Votes and have filmed many videos of community members of how an aquatic center would really help our town.”

The Founder’s Award video submission was completed by Lauren Dewey, Sophie Quick, Sadie Quick, Zachary Spaulding, Josh Dodson, and Audrey Young.

“Winning was a dream held by past EAST members that finally came to reality this year. Our program is truly grateful for this award,” said Sophie.