Take the 2020 Census now!

Nicolas Bufi, 13, Made Winning Entry for US Census Teen Video Contest

TROY, N.Y. — Troy High School ninth-grader Nicholas Bufi, 13, made the winning video in a contest to get the word out about the 2020 U.S. Census to Rensselaer County residents.

“The message that I hope all people will take away from the video is that your voice matters and every person counts,” said Bufi. “Before I started the project, I didn’t know too much about the census, but I made it my goal to know a lot more about it and to make a video that was educational and that told people why they should take the census.”

This May, The Arts Center of the Capital Region and Rensselaer County Complete County Committee invited teen creators in Rensselaer County, ages 13 to 19, to make short engaging videos promoting the importance of being counted 2020 U.S. Census, which will determine how more than $675 billion federal dollars are distributed to communities across the country.

The contest was developed by The Arts Center to help engage middle and high school students who were learning remotely due to COVID-19 school closures. Contestants were encouraged to collaborate using video technology readily available in smartphones and other mobile or video devices.

“Every entry was a wonderful example of the creativity in Rensselaer County, and determining the winners was tough,” said Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of the Arts Center. “Video production is a wonderful way for teens to express their creativity and stay engaged in their community. I hope everyone who participated keeps on making movies!”

Bufi, who started the ninth grade at Troy High School this fall, received a $1,000 cash prize for his video, which stresses the ways the US Census could impact Rensselaer County, like providing funding for schools, hospitals and roads.

In the video, he narrates over footage he filmed from his mother’s car of public places in Rensselaer County, including local schools, highways, the Troy Police Department and Samaritan Hospital. He uses text on the screen to emphasize important points about the census, like “The fewer people that take it the less money we get back.”