After less than a week of competing against hundreds of students in the Rhode Island SkillsUSA competition, Documentary Unbound students Lacie Brown, 17, and Bella Quiroa, 17, took home Gold in the the Television Production category.

SkillsUSA is an organization with the mission to empower students to become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members. The SkillsUSA competition gathers students at a state level to showcase that philosophy, giving participants the opportunity to highlight the trade skills they are bringing to the workforce.

After a week of competition, SkillsUSA, holds an award ceremony for participants to celebrate their achievements with some students taking home Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals.

Television Production was one of the last categories to announce where students and schools had placed during the competition. To add levity to the waiting game friends and collaborators, Bella and Lacie, would playfully make jokes with each other about winning big and taking home the gold, “I hope the crowd is ready for us to get our medals, can’t wait to leave with my medal.”

“I was confident that even if we didn’t place in the competition we did the best that we could do, I would be happy with the results either way… We did this. We did SkillsUSA. It was fun and I’m satisfied.” Needless to say, Bella and Lacie, were shocked and stunned to discover they had won Gold and placed first.

“It was a great opportunity to for us to put the skills that we’ve been using in Documentary Unbound to use.”

Bella and Lacie credit a lot of their success in the competition to the skills that they have built in the Documentary Unbound program. Bella shared “Being able to work on our skills of video editing, filming how we are at docUnbound absolutely helped being able to do those things and understand the process at SkillsUSA, setting up a tripod so our shots aren’t shaky, making sure we have a microphone so our audio is good in addition to normalizing our audio on the camera initially so we don’t have to worry about it too much in editing, definitely helped during the competition.”

Outside of the technical skills Lacie comments on the value of building rapport and honing in one the interpersonal aspects of filmmaking “Interviewing people with the help of docUnbound, and The Met as well, made a difference – having an understanding on the process of conducting an interview made the process of production and editing a lot easier. We are storytellers we handle that process with care when sharing peoples real stories.”

Both Lacie and Bella, came to Documentary Unbound by chance at the suggestion of a peer or advisor, and encourage prospective participants to come to the program for the experience and collaboration.

When asked to describe docUnbound in few words they came up with Collaborative… New…. Creative…. Fun and Community – emphasis on community because we are able to work together to create one project that has elements from all of our creative minds.