LDS Student Wins Director Award for ‘R-Word’ Video

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Taylor Reece, a high school senior and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, won ‘The Directors Award’ at the Utah Broadcast Awards for his PSA titled, “Spread the Word to End the Word.”

The “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign was created to stop the use of the “R” word, or “retarded.” For many whose loved ones have special needs “retarded” is very offensive and hurtful. Reece originally made the video to bring awareness in his high school about the hurtful nature of the “R” word and to showcase the wonderful special needs students.

These kids have so much Christlike love, unconditional for everybody. They are so nice and I didn’t realize it until I did this video. It’s really opened my eyes to how hurtful this word can be and how awesome these kids are.

Reece created the video as part of an assignment for his video production class. The idea came from the life skills teacher at his high school, Janell Jensen. The experience completely changed Reece’s outlook on the special needs kids in the Life Skills class.

“So I had never been a peer tutor or anything. I hadn’t had very much experience with the Life Skills class,” Reese said. “It was super cool for me, they were so happy and super excited and ready to do this video. They had been practicing a week.”

Reece, who is preparing to serve a mission in September, attributed his desire to make wholesome media to his Mormon faith.

“Right now I film weddings a lot, and all of the weddings I’ve done have been at the temple and that has been so awesome for me,” Reese said. “To walk around the temple and see these happy couples and be the first person to see them come out, I love that so much.”

To see more of Reece’s work, check out his YouTube page.

Bridget is a newsroom writer at LDS.net. She graduated in April 2015 from Brigham Young University in communications with an emphasis of public relations. She served a Spanish speaking LDS mission in McAllen, Texas. She is a skilled pianist and an expert baker of chocolate chip cookies.