SAN BENITO — From filming and editing footage to creating graphics and mixing music, these students are taking their studies to the next level.

San Benito CISD’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department kicked off a new AV Production program this week, which involves students creating commercials for local businesses in exchange for monetary donations.

San Benito High School seniors Isaac Escribano Cruz, Daniel Bautista, Cassandra Luna, Benita Sandoval and Kayla Garcia began creating a 30-second commercial for their first client this week.

“I think this is a great opportunity that prepares the students for the workforce,” Advanced AV Production Instructor Joel Rodriguez said. “I think the experience itself is going to help them land a job.”

Employee Retirement Services, LLC is the first business to partner with the students.

As a graduate of San Benito High School, Employee Retirement Services, LLC Advisor Joe D. Garcia, says he strives to give back to his community.

“Unfortunately, some of the students don’t have the funds or their parents might make too much so they can’t receive financial aid,” Garcia said. “So, this helps them and also helps the business, which is a win-win.”

Garcia said he plans to post the commercial on the company’s website, Facebook page and possibly on the San Benito scoreboard during next football season.

“I was very impressed by the students’ professionalism being that they’re so young,” Garcia said. “They did an outstanding job. I’m really blown away by the work they did.”

All donations received from partnering businesses will be given at the end of the year in the form of scholarships to students pursuing a college degree in audio video production or a related field.

According to Rodriguez, several other local businesses are interested in donating scholarship money in exchange for a commercial made by the students.

Because of the knowledge and skill gained through the school’s CTE Program, Cassandra said she feels steps ahead of others who are pursuing the same career.

“We’re learning these skills at a young age and that feels really good,” Cassandra said. “To be able to have a skill that not everyone has means we have an opportunity to get a job in this industry.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

• Students in San Benito CISD’s Career and Technical Education AV Production Department are producing commercials in exchange for monetary donations.

• All donations will be given at the end of the year in the form of scholarships to students pursuing a college degree in audio video production.

• To receive services, contact San Benito High School Advanced AV Production Instructor Joel Rodriguez at jrodriguez@sbcisd.net or call (956) 276-6032.