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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Sophomore team wins state organ donor video competition

Olivia McMinn
Suprised Smile Sophmores Aiden Aiken and Sydney Wilber laugh after hearing the news that they had won the State video competition. The third member, Parker Huey-Kish, could not make the meeting that day due to illness.

Donate Life Pennsylvania is a nonprofit organization that increases the number of donated organs to help save and heal lives through organ donation. Each year they hold a video contest for high school students. The organization’s contact, physical education teacher Thomas Palfey, gave the information to sophomore Aiden Aiken and trusted him with the video submission. 

“I thought of Aiden only because he did such a good job with the football video,” Palfey said. “Honestly, I just handed the paper, and he did it. He took it upon himself with who else he invited. I knew they were going to do a good job.”  

Aiken got straight to work. He formed a team with two other sophomores: Parker Huey-Kish and Sydney Wilber

“We used mostly Mr. Sipes class to put it together, so we have around one period each day. It took about a month to do so,” Aiken said. 

On Friday, April 19,  Palfey and the competition board held a Zoom meeting to congratulate the team. Although, the students believed it was down to the top participants; they didn’t know they had won. 

“We just knew that they were going to pick from the top three in the state for it and they were going to tell us over a meeting because we thought they were going to be other teams on the call,” Aiken said. 

The announcement was presented by Karen Herr, one of the eight judges, present on the video call. 

“Our vote was unanimous,” Herr said. “You had it all. Your video was wrapped up in a present for us, making it so easy to reward you and congratulate you for this.”

After hearing the news, Wilber and Aiden shared a smile and laughed in shock. 

“It was a statewide competition, with schools, including Hollidaysburg, entered alongside us. We were a little nervous about that. After hearing the news, we were speechless,” Aiken said. 

The team of three was awarded $3000 to split amongst the three of them. Additionally, they can attend a seminar in State College in the month of May to honor both their achievement and spread awareness for organ donation. Here, they will be presented with their checks, a traveling trophy and a trophy for the school to keep for years to come.

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  • C

    Christine BeheApr 23, 2024 at 2:54 pm

    Congratulations! That is awesome! Great video.

  • K

    KarenApr 22, 2024 at 8:09 pm

    Awesome job !! Congratulations to all of you !! ❤️