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DMPS student creates award-winning documentary

Abrianna Wilson interned with Iowa PBS last school year, earning her an Upper Midwest Emmy® Student Production Award.

DES MOINES, Iowa — It's graduation season and one DMPS student has earned more than just a diploma.

Abrianna Hilson just graduated high school a few days ago, but along with her diploma, she can also add a new award to her trophy case. 

"It means a lot, especially for my family, because it feels like I've made it," Hilson said. "I made my family proud." 

Hilson interned with Iowa Public Broadcast Service last school year earning her an Upper Midwest Emmy® Student Production Award.

"At my time at Iowa PBS I created a documentary," Hilson said. "It is like a four minute video of like, what I learned there and what other people experience working here. I just really had a nice time doing it all."

The internship is part of a program geared to help women and those who belong to marginalized communities have an opportunity to submerge themselves into broadcasting. 

Senior producer and director David Miller said Hilson showed potential from the get go.

"If you watch this piece, you'll see that she was in several places, she was in one of the booths when they were editing. so she was on it from the very beginning," he said. 

But her work isn't stopping there. 

This summer, Hilson is working with local podcaster Rob Johnson. He plans to put out three new shows, one of which Hilson will produce herself.

"Abrianna has been the leader of that," Johnson said. "She's been filming, directing, editing, she's been doing all of that through their time working together."

After seeing her work firsthand, Johnson believes this award is just one of many.

"I think if she stays focus on what she's doing right now, man, you could probably see a Netflix special, you could probably see [her work] on Hulu, Amazon Prime," Johnson said. "She could do it all."

As for Hilson, she believes this reality is possible for anyone.

"If you want to do this, don't give up," she said.

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