ORLANDO, Fla. — Two Winter Park High School students have gone from being members of the younger voting generation to experts on it. 

What You Need To Know

  • Tammy Premchan and Katie Smith earned high accolades for their C-SPAN political documentary

  • The pair credit their Winter Park High School digital video teacher for their honor

  • The documentary explores the issue of low turnout among young voters in elections

Tammy Premchan and Katie Smith just earned a nationwide C-SPAN documentary award with their video: "Assembly Required: The Building Blocks of Our Future."

“When we found out we Facetimed each other screaming!” Premchan said.

“It was early in the morning, too,” Smith added.

In the documentary, they tackle the lack of young voter turnout in elections.

They say they owe their honor in large part to the teacher of their digital video class, Michelle Washington Gerber.

“It really does bring us a professional level of experience,” Washington Gerber said.

In the documentary, Premchan and Smith highlight the fact that many young people don’t vote because they feel unheard by politicians — something UCF political science professor Aubrey Jewett calls a "vicious circle."

“Sometimes younger people don’t vote because they say politicians don’t pay attention to us and our issues, and of course, the vicious circle part of that is that a lot of times, politicians don’t pay attention to younger voters very much because they know that the younger voters don’t vote,” he said.

Smith and Premchan say politicians in the older generation need to be versed on more digital platforms in order to connect with young voters where they are.

“But the disconnect between the younger generation and the older generation, a lot of that lies in technology and social media. ... They might have social media, but they’re not looking through it every day like we are, so with this documentary, we were hoping to bring that to their attention,” Premchan said.

But Jewett adds, on the other hand, that young people need to show politicians they can be a force at the polls.

“It’s just critically important if young people want to have some influence, and they want to get politicians to listen to the issues that younger voters care about,” Jewett said.

“They have this true opportunity to make a difference,” Washington Gerber said.