San Marcos High School student Jordan Chan’s 2019 winning video featured a Wild West time travel theme. Photo: YouTube special districts video contest

High School Students Invited to Enter Special Districts Video Contest

San Diego County high school students whose Instagram Reels and TikTok skills impress their friends can put them to good use and earn scholarship money for their efforts.

The 2022 California Special Districts Association San Diego Chapter video scholarship competition is open through the end of April. The annual “Districts Make The Difference” contest promotes public awareness and understanding of the special districts providing communities with essential services like water, sanitation, healthcare, fire protection, and parks.

In 2019, San Marcos High School student Jordan Chan’s winning video featured a Wild West time travel theme to illustrate the importance and variety of special districts serving San Marcos and other California communities, including the Vallecitos Water District.

Watch Chan’s winning video 

Rules for 2022 Special District video contest entries

Entrants must attend a San Diego County, high school. The video should be 60 seconds long and educate the public about any aspect of how special districts make a difference in their everyday lives. Videos can highlight the following content areas:

  • A unique program, service, or infrastructure project that a special district is currently promoting.
  • How an individual, a group of individuals, or a community is affected by special districts.
  • How special districts are formed and how they can provide essential services to the community.

Special districts are local government organizations formed by communities to provide essential services like drinking water, parks, or fire protection. San Diego County’s 24 member water agencies are special districts. There are more than 30,000 special districts across the U.S. Students can learn more about special districts in San Diego County at the California Special District Association (CSDA) San Diego Chapter website.

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones presents winner Jordan Chan with a certificate of appreciation at the Vallecitos Water District's February board meeting. Photo: VWD

San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones presents winner Jordan Chan with a certificate of appreciation at the Vallecitos Water District’s February board meeting. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Helix Water District Board President Kathleen Coates Hedberg and the San Diego Chapter of the California Special Districts Association launched the original video contest. It grew into a statewide competition.

Videos can be submitted straight from a phone or uploaded from a computer. Entrants will upload their video to YouTube, marked as “unlisted,” and provide the link in their application.

The video submission window will be open until April 30, 2022. The San Diego Chapter CSDA “Districts Make the Difference” judging committee will choose the top ten finalists. At the end of May, winners will be announced and receive $1,500 for the first-place winner, $1,000 for the second-place winner, and $500 for the third-place winner.

The video entries will be scored on the following criteria: incorporating the theme “How San Diego Special Districts Make a Difference,” creativity and originality, entertainment value, the accuracy of information, effectiveness and value of information, and production quality.

See more winning videos and learn more about special districts at

(Editor’s note: The Vallecitos Water District and the Helix Water District are two of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the metropolitan San Diego region.)