Every student spends their free time differently, be it practicing a sport, or joining a club, but for a particular student here at Westside, things just got a lot more interesting. Freshman Ramya Iyer recently won Population’s Connections World of 7 Billion contest, in which over 5,000 other participants faced off worldwide in designing a 1 minute video focused on a world issue. For Iyer’s topic, she chose to make her video focused on child marriage.

“I knew I wanted to enter a video about ‘Advancing Women and Girls’ because child marriage is a global issue that’s growing with the population” Iyer said. “I [originally] found out about the contest when my EY advisor from the middle school sent me a link. I thought that I could use my media skills to visualize [the topic well].”

As for how she went about creating the video, Iyer said she used Adobe Creative Suite to make the graphics, animate them, and added her own recorded narration on top of it all.

While making the video, Iyer said that she chose to make the child brides in the video “faceless” in order to symbolize how girls who have gone through child marriage as children typically never have their stories told.

“I’m pretty happy with [how the video turned out], and I’m definitely glad that the point I was trying to make in the video can be seen by others now” Iyer said.

Iyer plans to donate the money she won from the contest to Nanhi Kali, a non-profit that puts children through school in India.

“One of the most basic parts of the solution to child marriage I presented in my video is education” Iyer said. “I’m happy that I can contribute in a tangible way.”

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