Announcing Our 2019 WorldStrides Photo & Video Contest Winners

Updated on August 21, 2019

The votes are in, and our Photo & Video Contest winners have been announced! Congratulations to all the finalists and grand prize winners! Curious for a little more info? We asked the finalists to share a little bit about their entries, and the moment when they snapped (or filmed!) their winning pieces. We also wanted to share what our WorldStrides creative team had to say about these impressive submissions.

Grand Prize Winners:

Candid Shot – Victoria Capitano

Pop of Color by Victoria Capitano

Victoria captured her winning image, Pop of Color, while exploring Iceland on a WordStrides program with her school. While visiting the Black Beach Columns, Victoria’s friend pointed out a woman perched on one of the massive columns. “She was beautiful. Her brightly colored garments contrasted so incredibly to the dull, black beach and overcast sky. It was almost instinctual to snap a picture of her. Whenever I think of that beach, I think of her, and it’s a nice reminder that there is color out there if we look hard enough,” recalled Victoria.

We love the contrast of the grey rock and the colorful figure and the very nice composition.

Highlight Reel – Jillian Johnson

Jillian shot this impressive Italian Adventures 2019 while traveling overseas for the very first time to – Italy of course! She shot the video before even knowing about the contest, as something she could simply share with her family and friends when she returned. Jillian recalled, “Our entire ten-hour flight home consisted of me cutting and editing videos in order to create Italian Adventures 2019 (while everyone, and I mean everyone, was sleeping). This adventure to Italy was the best trip I’ve been on by far and was a great way to kick off my senior year with all my friends!”

We think this video used great transitions and featured lots of personality. It felt like a real experience – not posed!



Artsy for Artsy’s Sake – Blake Bonaparte

Diamonds Dancing by Blake Bonaparte

Blake Bonaparte, a student as DePaul University in Chicago snapped his winning photo, Diamonds Dancing while traveling in Havana, Cuba as part of a program with WorldStrides ISA.In this picture my friends/classmates Zipporah, Kayla, and I were roaming through the streets of La Habana Vieja, Cuba searching for interesting stores and markets to shop at. We wandered into a little mall where we were stunned to see tiny pieces of locally-made ceramic tile dangling in the middle of the walkway. We noticed a girl taking pictures for her Quince next to the tiles…that’s when Zipporah and I made eye contact and I immediately pulled out my camera and started to take pictures, while she simultaneously started hitting poses. The rest is history,” Blake reflected. Blake said he titled the photo Diamonds Dancing because of the way the light from the sunroof glistened off the tiles, and it is also a reference one of his favorite rappers, Drake.

Our WorldStrides creative team was impressed with the colors, contrast, and patterns featured in this image. Cool use of decoration!


Group Shot – Timothy Cabatuando

The Father of Civil Rights by Timothy Cabatuando

Timmy’s photo, The Father of Civil Rights, was taken while visiting Washington D.C. in May. As you can see, the photo was taken at the impressive Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The strong stances and interesting angle make this photo a fantastic one, and it seems as though Timmy’s classmates agreed! So much so, his friends began paying him $1.00 for him to send them the photos he took while on their trip. “As time goes on my whole class pays me a dollar and now everyone has a membership. Word even got to the chaperones and teachers…The principal even knew and said my photos were good,” remarked Timmy.

We were impressed with the interesting angle and dynamic perspective featured in this image.

Our Teacher – George Chao

Spiders can be beautiful too by George Chao

George captured this unique shot while learning about biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Unique because of the cool shot, but also because of the subject(s)! “Our biology professor, Dr. Weber, had a keen eye and together we saw hundreds of species. Pictured here is the Golden Silk Orbweaver, which creates a naturally gold-tinged silk with tremendous mechanical strength and beneficial biological properties that could make it a game-changing material for surgical sutures, or even serve as scaffold for regenerating damaged tissue,” George shared.

Our creative team was quick to notice the excellent use of shallow depth of field in this photo!



The Moment When – Ryan Anderson

Ryan’s video, Feeding the Tarpon, is exactly what it sounds like, but with perhaps a surprising end! Ryan shot his “The Moment When” clip while on a Florida STEM program on a 103-degree day. “One of my classmates was about to feed a Tarpon so I started videoing. Nothing happened for a couple of seconds and then this huge Tarpon jumped out of the water and nearly ate my classmates arm!” That wasn’t the only wildlife sighting of the day. “…we also saw a lot of cool animals at the dock, like Manatees and Pelicans. It was a fun trip.”

Oh, the suspense! Our creative team called this a potential viral video and a great “gotcha moment.”

GIF – Megan Barksdale

Megan’s GIF was captured at the incredible Trevi Fountain in Rome while she was touring Italy with her University of Pennsylvania group on a WorldStrides ISA Custom Programs trip.

We love the timing of this GIF and thought it was a lot of fun – make a wish!

Remember When – Nilo Benicio

In Nilo’s video, 4 Years Later, he describes the lasting impact the WorldStrides Washington D.C. program has had on him. Nilo talks about how he has grown as a person because of the experience he had four years ago.

We were impressed he took the time to reflect on a trip he took four years ago!


Thank you to all who participated and voted, and congratulations to the winners. All finalists will each receive a $100 Amazon gift card, and the two grand prize winners will each take home $1,000!


Article written by Ellen Sewell

Ellen Sewell
Ellen’s background is in digital marketing, and she has a passion for travel and experiencing new places. When she’s not scrolling behind the screen sourcing content, Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband, son and golden retriever.

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