AOLG’s Alyssa Dela Cruz wins #MakeMercyReal video contest

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Pictured from left to right, front row: Sister Brigid Perez, RSM; AOLG principal Mary A.T. Meeks, AOLG president Sister Mary Angela Perez, RSM; Vincent Dela Cruz, Alyssa Dela Cruz, Ethan Dela Cruz, Frances Dela Cruz, AOLG teacher Iris Gaza, Guam Mercy administrator Sister Marian Therese Arroyo, RSM; back row: Sisters Orlean Pereda, RSM, Mary Rose Elliott, RSM, Dorothy Lettiere, RSM, Cecilia Camacho, RSM, Mary Stephen Torres, RSM, and Cabrini Taitano, RSM. (USY photo/Anne Marie Rodriguez)

For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas recently announced the winners of the second annual #MakeMercyReal video contest, open to high school and college age students at Mercy-sponsored schools and ministries in the United States, South and Central America, Jamaica, Guam and the Philippines. Each of the videos explores one of the five Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: earth, immigration, racism, nonviolence, and women.

Holding her award and $500 prize, 2018 #MakeMercyReal video contest winner Alyssa Dela Cruz, left, takes a photo with her family, from left to right, Vincent Dela Cruz, Frances Dela Cruz, and Ethan Dela Cruz. (USY photo/Anne Marie Rodriguez)

The #MakeMercyReal video contest was begun to engage young people and to help them connect to the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy. Videos created by the students are available for sharing to foster conversations on issues of social justice.

The winner of the 2018 video contest is Alyssa Dela Cruz, who attends the Academy of Our Lady of Guam in Hagåtña. Her video examines the injustice, inequality and lack of access to opportunity encountered by millions of girls and women throughout the world.

“This year’s winning video was selected by our judges for its creativity, emotional connection to the viewer and its clear focus on the injustices faced by women around the world,” said Mike Poulin, director of justice outreach for the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community, and the creator of the video contest.

Second place was awarded to students at Mercy Academy in Louisville, KY for a short film exploring the challenges faced by millions of immigrants in the United States who live in poverty. Third place went to students from St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, GA for their film focusing on the moral and ecological imperatives to care for God’s creation.

Five additional teams of students – all from Mercy Academy in Louisville – won honorable mentions for their submissions.

Mr. Mike Poulin, located in Omaha, NE and Sister Aine O’Connor of the -Institute Leadership Team presented the award with AOLG president Sister Mary Angela Perez of the Religious Sisters of Mercy via video conference to AOLG freshman Alyssa Dela Cruz with a certificate and a $500 check at a ceremony held on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the AOLG Ysrael Fine Arts Auditorium.