Josh Santos posed in front of a red wooden cutout of Hillsborough High School. He took off his jacket so viewers could see his Ron Paul T-shirt.
A classmate held up a palm-sized video camera, which PBS had sent to the school to document Election Day from perspectives like his. Josh shoved a hand in his jeans pocket.
"On Nov. 4, the most important election of my generation will be decided. It will be decided for me," the high school senior with a halo of curly hair said, staring straight into the camera.
"My birthday is tomorrow, Nov. 5. I will be turning 18 years old. I can't vote in this election because I was born one day too late."
Once he got over the disappointment, Josh said he realized that he could still volunteer. He helped out the Barack Obama campaign. Through the PBS program, Josh, executive producer of the school TV show, got to document Election Day excitement.
He was among a handful of Hillsborough High students filming videos for the PBS "Video Your Vote'' project. The student recordings were posted on YouTube and had a chance of appearing on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Election Day broadcast.
For the project, PBS sent two tiny point-and-shoot video cameras to Hillsborough High, one of four high schools in Florida selected. Nationally, 48 schools received equipment and were in close contact with the program.
The result: videos like the 54-second clip of Marley Jackman's first voting experience.
"Are you excited to vote?" Josh asked behind the camera.
He did not need to inquire about the presidential preference of the blond senior wearing two Obama buttons and a T-shirt with CHANGE stripped across the chest.
"Yeah, it's been fun because most of the other people aren't able to vote," said Marley, 18, editor of the school newspaper, the Red & Black. "So I've kind of been rubbing it in their faces all day."
Letitia Stein can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3400. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.