A Temple University student's latest project has landed a major national nomination from the Television Academy Foundation.
Senior, Eli LaBan has been nominated for a national College Emmy for his latest project, “Learn to Count in an Endangered Language.” LaBan produced the project while on a semester-long trip to Nicaragua. His short social media videos promote the importance of endangered languages on the remote Caribbean Coast, including Garifuna, Rama and Miskito.
“It feels amazing to be recognized as one of three finalists in the category out of thousands of entries from all over the country,” LaBan said. “Especially since the project is in such a non-traditional social media format.”
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LaBan is up against two other students in the ‘Series-Unscripted’ category and will be flown to Los Angeles for a networking summit and awards ceremony on May 24.
A former NBC10 intern, LaBan took home a professional Emmy for the work he did on NBC10 Digital's 'Generation Addicted' in 2016.
Along with the Emmy nomination, LaBan’s project was also selected as a recipient of a fellowship grant. The grant is making it able for LaBan to return to Nicaragua after his graduation in May to continue developing the educational videos.
“This recent grant will allow me to continue building on what we started with this video series in collaboration with local grassroots cultural preservation and environmental organizations,” LaBan said. “We are planning on creating more educational video content to help make learning the languages more interactive and fun, as well as promoting sustainable indigenous farming practices and plant knowledge.”
LaBan says he is thankful for all the support he has gotten since beginning the project and is looking forward to expanding programs into local communities so that residents and students “will be able to participate in creating media towards the initiative of cultural preservation.”
“I’m lucky to have my family, friends and professors supporting me,” LaBan said. “I am especially grateful for the enthusiasm of friends and community members of Nicaragua who saw the potential of the project and allowed us to record a little bit about their lives.”