Skip To Main Content

Burnsville High School junior earns scholarship, find passion for filmmaking

  • Pathways & Partnerships
Burnsville High School junior earns scholarship, find passion for filmmaking

Burnsville High School junior Lesly Yalith Rodriguez Ruelas was one of six winners in the National Association of College Admissions Counseling’s 2020 Student Video Essay Contest (NACAC). Winners of the contest, which was sponsored by Indie Atlantic Films, were announced in April. Lesly earned a $1,000 scholarship for her submission.

The contest was open to high school juniors and seniors and community college students in Minnesota. In their video, students had to answer the prompt, "Why is continuing your education after high school important to you?"

Through classwork in Media Production and Film as Literature, a new class offered at Burnsville High School and taught by Sheana Eggers, Lesly found her passion for filmmaking. She honed her skills while participating in Blaze Weekly, the school’s weekly news broadcast. Lesly now plans to study cinematography in college. As a first-generation college student, Lesly is excited to have found her pathway and looks forward to what the future holds. 

“I am really looking forward to finding out what colleges will accept me as their student for the fall of 2021,” said Lesly. “I am really nervous but excited for that day when I get a response from colleges that I apply to.”

“Through my classwork, I learned a lot of myself,” said Lesly. “I learned to become more patient and improvise when the shots I took didn’t come out very good. I learned that I’m really good at improvising when I didn't have the materials that others would have to create good films. Along with that, I learned that a ‘good’ film isn’t just about how good the equipment is that you are using. But, it’s about the creativity – to create something people will enjoy watching. And, that’s what I did. I got creative with what I had to make something I was proud of.”

You can watch Lesly’s video here:

For more information about NACAC and the video essay contest, please visit

  • High School
  • Pathways
Wayfinder. Looking through a row of 3D printers

The Wayfinder Blog

Navigate the One91 experience with confidence with Wayfinder, a blog with stories and resources for the One91 community.

Read the Blog