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Local youngster wins prize for video project

Jessica Resnick focused on a Japanese-American who avoided WWII internment camps.

Posted: April 15, 2008 4:10 p.m.
Updated: June 16, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Castaic Middle School student Jessica Resnick, 11, wears the medal she won in an L.A.-wide history competition for her project on a Japanese-American who avoided internment during World War II.

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While some may have a general understanding of the Japanese-American internment camps, Jessica Resnick has gained an in-depth knowledge of it.

And she has a medal to prove it.

The 11-year-old from Castaic recently won at an LA-wide competition for her video project on Fred Korematsu, a Japanese-American who evaded an internment camp. His ultimate capture and subsequent court battles became anexample of the how Japanese-Americans were treated during World War II.

Resnick's project began with the announcement of History Day at Castaic Middle School, where Resnick is a sixth-grader.

Resnick and her mother decided to take on the project about Korematsu, as his story is something many on the West Coast have been familiar with.

Although Korematsu died years earlier, the youngster was able to do a phone interview with his daughter, Karen Korematsu-Haigh, for her video.

Korematsu-Haigh's voice from the interview serves as a narration in the 10-minute-long video, along with other experts who commented on Korematsu and World War II as a whole.

Resnick says she learns a lot about Korematsu, but she also learned how to put a video together - everything from interview techniques to using video programs.

In early March, Resnick and her family made the trip to Azuza PacificUniversity in the San Gabriel Valley to take part in the History Day competition.

"I was a bit nervous," Resnick said, although she believed that she had a pretty good chance of winning.
After much anticipation, Resnick won in the junior division's individual documentary category.|

"I was really excited," she said.

Her next stop will be Sacramento for the state competition, to be held during Mother Day's weekend.

"I'm looking forward to it," she said, adding that she is a little nervous again. "It would be OK if I didn't win."

If Resnick wins at the state level, she will qualify for the national competition.

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