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Teen wins first place in YouTube video contest
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Local resident Anna Whittemore recently won first place in the Tennessee Bar Association YouTube Video Contest in the middle school category.
Anna is the 13-year-old daughter of Rebecca Leech and John Whittemore, and was sponsored by Homeschooling Outloud of Murfreesboro.
The competition is an initiative of Tennessee Bar Association president Sam Elliott, who is also the current chair of the Tennessee Historical Commission and has made civics education a focus of his presidency. The contest required middle and high school students to explore the state’s rich legal history and create a three-minute video about an event, circumstance, or person who played an important part in that history.
As the winner, Anna received a $250 cash prize for her video on Tennessee textile mills and labor laws and was invited to TBA’s annual meeting in Chattanooga on June 17 where she had her winning video shown to leaders in the state’s legal community. Her sponsoring organization received a cash prize of $500.
Anna, who is home schooled, explained how her video came about and how she chose her subject.
“There were a lot of strikes in textile mills in Tennessee,” Anna said. “So I made my video about how those affected labor laws.”
Anna says she is interested in fashion design and that was one of the things that influenced her choice.
Anna says her interest in video developed due to the availability of equipment in her family, namely her brother Hank.
“It actually started with my brother,” Anna said. “He got a video camera because he was interested in video and I kept stealing it for myself.”
Except for a few shots where she appeared in front of the camera, Anna did all the shooting and photos for the video.
She found out about the competition via an e-mail from a friend involved in her home school group who is a former Tennessee Bar Association member. The winning student videos can be viewed by visiting the Tennessee Bar Association website at
Anna’s dad, John, says he is pleased with his daughter’s accomplishments.
“I am extremely proud,” said John. “I was pleased with her video as well as Hank’s. He did a video as well for the high school category, which was also excellent. We’re all really pleased she got this recognition, especially as a home school student. I think it’s really important they get some recognition for their achievements.”