Announcing the 2019 What’s Your Story? video contest

By: Lynette Owens

If you had one special power to make life online better, what would it be? That’s the challenge posed by this year’s What’s Your Story? (WYS) video competition, and we think it’s a good one. The way adults and younger people view the world can often be strikingly different. And while we fret over the risks and challenges facing kids online, we sometimes miss or misinterpret what those are and how best to solve them.  So why assume anything? Why not just ask the very people we are trying to protect?

This year’s theme will hopefully shed some light on what the biggest challenges are for youth online and how they can overcome them. We’re eager to see what issues they choose, and what creative powers they will use to fix them. Each year, students have demonstrated their passion, creativity, knowledge and technical abilities on this topic and we believe this year will be no different.

Listening and learning

What’s Your Story is now in its ninth year and we’re delighted to say that during this time, it’s run successfully in more than a dozen countries worldwide. The idea is simple: empower students to participate in conversations about the safe, responsible, and successful use of technology. The contest also uniquely selects winners not just on the quality and originality of their videos but also how successfully they’ve been able to engage with the online community to promote their message.  We hope to encourage the positive use of the internet not just by having them talk about it, but also by using it in the process of the contest. Contestants are encouraged to use social media to get their important stories out to the world.

Dreaming of a better digital world

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade it’s that young people care a lot about the world they live in. This is their internet as much as it is ours and they’ll be around a lot longer to shape its future. So it’s important that we engage, get them thinking and listen to what they have to say.

That’s always been our mantra for WYS, and our global Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF) program, which Trend Micro has successfully run for over a decade. We’ve now reached more than two million children, parents and teachers around the globe. One look at the digital world will tell you that our mission is more important today than it ever was.

Maybe there is a special power that already exists or is within our reach to make life online better, for kids and for all of us. We can’t wait to find out.

How to enter

We encourage teachers with their students from the U.S. and Canada to compete in the schools category and individual students from the U.S. and Canada ages 13+ to compete in the individual category.

Participants will have until April 16, 2019 to submit their videos, and a further two weeks past entry deadline to promote their submitted videos to friends, families, classmates and communities. Finalists will be notified on or about April 30, with the winners announced on or about May 14. A grand prize of $10,000 will be awarded for the winning student entry, along with $5,000 awards each for the best Canadian and US school entries.

The competition is live now so there’s no time to lose.

Don’t forget to post general comments on social media under #WYS2019 and promote your entries under #HeresMyStory2019. For more information on What’s Your Story? 2019, please visit:

Lynette Owens

Lynette Owens

Lynette Owens is Vice President of Global Consumer Education & Marketing at Trend Micro and Founder of the Internet Safety for Kids and Families program. With 25+ years in the tech industry, Lynette speaks and blogs regularly on how to help kids become great digital citizens. She works with communities and 1:1 school districts across the U.S. and around the world to support online safety, digital and media literacy and digital citizenship education. She is a board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, an advisory committee member of the Digital Wellness Lab, and serves on the advisory boards of INHOPE and U.S. Safer Internet Day.

Follow her on Twitter @lynettetowens.