Marcellus High School ninth-grader Brad Stoyell has been named a finalist in a video contest sponsored by the American Red Cross of Western and Central New York and Onondaga County Emergency Management.
“In recent years, Central New York has been in the crosshairs of many severe weather events,” Rosie Taravella, regional chief operating officer for the Red Cross, said when the contest was first announced. “A 2013 survey revealed Onondaga County residents are underprepared for natural disasters and have a high reliance on first responders to assist them within hours of an emergency, regardless of the event’s size.”
As part of the “3DayOK” community resilience initiative, contestants were invited to create a video to educate viewers about what they would need to survive for three days after a natural disaster strikes. Brad’s was among three videos selected as finalists and posted online, where the public now can vote for their favorite. The video that garners the most votes before Wednesday, Jan. 21, will be announced during a news conference Jan. 29.
"First of all I have to give credit to my science teacher, Ms. (Jennifer) Kelly," Brad said. "If not for her, I would not be here as a finalist for the 3DayOK video contest. I also thought this would be a fun experience even if I didn't win. Everyone who knows me knows that I love the weather and I get very engaged with it."
The contest ran from Sept. 9 through Dec. 12, 2014, and was open to individuals at least 13 years of age who are permanent residents of Onondaga County, or full-time students at a college or university in Onondaga County.
According to Marcellus science teacher Kelly, Brad, who hopes to pursue a career in meteorology, prepared for the video project by conducting research and interviews.
“In addition to using the material he learned in my earth science class, Brad interviewed (local TV news meteorologists) Matt Stevens, Wayne Mahar and Peter Hall to gather accurate information,” Ms. Kelly said.
The grand prize winner will receive an Apple iPad, the second-place winner will receive a $250 merchandise gift card and the third-place winner will receive a $100 merchandise gift card.
“I am very shocked that I am a finalist and glad to be one of the three people in Onondaga county who made it this far," Brad said. "This has been one of the happiest moments in my life and I hope to have more like it."