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St. Louis students to educate Congress on budget priorities

Education Is the Key to Our Success (IHTDFilms2014)

What Would You Do If You Had $1 Trillion? A Group of Seniors at Northwest Academy of Law Say They Would Invest in Education.

ST. LOUIS [February 26, 2014] — A group of students at Northwest Academy of Law have been selected to participate in the fourth annual “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Film Festival in Washington, D.C. Students were introduced to the federal budget and asked what they would do if they could spend $1 trillion.

“Their answer was not what you might expect from 17 and 18-year-olds,” said Joshua Saleem, who directs AFSC’s Peace Education Project. “They wanted to spend it on their education.”

In their video, entitled “Education is the Key to Our Success,” the students identified physical improvements that could be made to their school building, including newer computers, high school level books in their library, and better gym facilities. They also said they would increase the Pell Grant amount (currently only $5500) so that more young people could afford college without going into debt.

The “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Young people are directly affected by conversations about state and federal budgets, yet their voices are often ignored. The film festival seeks to change that.

Now that their video has been selected for the Film Festival, students will be fundraising so they can travel to Washington, DC where they will visit Capitol Hill. They hope to make Congress aware of their priorities for the federal budget.

Krista Germann, Social Studies Teacher (618) 954-9979 ·
Joshua Saleem, Peace Education Program Director (314) 324-7442 ·