Bob Jones High School students spread award-winning messages across the state

MADISON, Ala. - Mrs. Brandy Panagos, a multimedia teacher at Bob Jones High School, tasked her class with producing a video PSA for the Alabama Department of Public Health's statewide contest. Student Lakyn Shepard won first place and took home a $1,000 prize.

"For all of us to make a video entertaining for teenagers," Shepard said of the assignment. "Just making sure we have their attention about the Zika virus which is becoming a big deal around the world."

Panagos gave the students one week to prepare the assignment.

"Most people think it just affects pregnant women when really it doesn't," Student Chenoa Gentle said. "It affects a lot of people and in some cases, causes death."

Alongside Shepard, Cassie Volkin won second place and $750 and Gentle won $100 for her honorable mention.

"Just fight the bite and prevention about it," Shepard said. "Wearing long sleeves, staying inside."

"I put an average of how much rainfall we get in Alabama to prove nesting areas of the mosquitoes," Gentle said. "Then, I also put other ways that you can prevent it."

"Mine was to show it's not just a mosquito bite that itches," Volkin said. "There are some gruesome symptoms that comes with it and it can really, really hurt."