City Tech Students Sweep Awards at Federal Reserve Video Competition

First-place winner Kenneth Bordes-Hollon (third from the right) and the star of his video, Melvin Mogoli (fifth from right), with Federal Reserve officials and video competition judges.

Brooklyn, NY — The repercussions of unwise credit card use were successfully conveyed by New York City College of Technology (City Tech) students as they swept the three top awards at a video competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Office of Regional & Community Outreach and the New York Bankers Association.

Six of the ten finalists in the Second Annual Financial Awareness Video Competition were City Tech students majoring in entertainment technology. Their videos were chosen from a field of 30-second public service announcement entries that included submissions from several CUNY colleges as well as Adelphi University, Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus and St. John’s University.

“The competition promotes financial literacy among young adults through peer-to-peer learning via short original videos,” said Krishna Guha, executive vice president, Communications Group, Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “The videos were judged on content accuracy, their potential for changing financial behavior, ability to connect to the 17-25 age group and uniqueness.”

First place prize winner Kenneth Bordes-Hollon, a City Tech sophomore, won for Credit Costs. It depicts a young man (played by Melvin Mogoli) regretting his unwise spending, as he is homeless and no longer able to find a decent job due to his poor credit. He now works whatever menial jobs he can get to survive and pay off his debt.

As the grand prize winner, Bordes-Hollon, who lives in East New York, Brooklyn, will have his winning video shown before films in five movie theatres from late December through mid-January 2012. The theatres include Court Street Stadium 12 in Brooklyn, E-Walk 13 on 42nd Street in Manhattan, Magic Johnson Harlem 9 in Manhattan, Bay Plaza 13 in the Bronx and Kaufman Astoria Stadium 14 in Queens.

“I am still processing the fact that I won,” Bordes-Hollon says. “My public service announcement being shown on the big screen is a great accomplishment and opportunity for me. I’ve already made contacts that may help me in the future.” Bordes-Hollon, wants to be an actor, writer, director and producer of work “that means something.”

Second-place winners Chin Sheng "William" Hsieh, Chih-Yao Yang and Maria Sideris.

In addition, Bordes-Hollon receives a $2,000 cash award, career advice and lunch at the Federal Reserve, a private tour of the Gold Vault and the New York Federal Reserve Museum and a tour of key bank operations and functions.

The second prize winning entry, It’s a Dog’s Life, was by Flushing residents Chih-Yao Yang, a senior, Maria Sideris, a junior, and Chin Sheng “William” Hsieh, a senior.  Their comedy portrays a young man who was happy to obtain a credit card, purchased more he could handle and is now a slave to his own monstrous credit card. He is literally leashed and walked by a giant credit card. The story is told by the point of view of the credit card.

Third-place winner Ron Hatcher (left) with his mentor, City Tech Assistant Professor Ryoya Terao (right). In the center is George K. Wells, who acted in the video.

Ron Hatcher, a sophomore living in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Miguel Angel Valderrama, a senior living in Manhattan’s East Village, placed third for The Visit.  In it, a young man is visiting a credit consultant who tells him his credit issues can be solved by paying him $2,000. The consultant is actually a crook. In the end, the audience learns there are free consultations available by certified specialists. The look of the video is a parody of the opening scene of “The Godfather.”

Third-place winner Miguel Valderrama (left).

The second and third place winners are invited to the New York Federal Reserve (second prize winners for a full day of meeting with senior leaders, third prize for career advice and lunch), a private tour of the Gold Vault and the New York Federal Reserve Museum, and a tour of key bank operations and functions.

Judges for the event were D’Brickashaw Ferguson of the New York Jets, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, NYC Media General Manager Diane Petzke and Tribeca Film Institute Program Associate José Rodriguez.

“We are now developing a video track (hopefully to become a video program) in the Department of Entertainment Technology,” says City Tech assistant professor Ryoya Terao, who mentored the students. “Most of our students are still relatively new to video production, so it’s a real coup that all of our six submissions were among the top 10 videos at the festival. But what really matters is that our students gained experience, worked together in teams and competed in a constructive way. They learned a lot.”

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York State. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the College enrolls more than 16,000 students in 62 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs.