Sitting in a television studio with black curtains and black foam on the walls last week, Karina Zannat, 16, tossed tough questions at an Arlington developer about the county’s pace of development and rising real estate prices:
“What is your opinion on the idea that kids from the present generation of Arlington County won’t be able to afford homes in Arlington County as adults?”
“Some say Arlington is becoming a place where only families of a certain high economic status can afford single-family houses. What is your opinion on this idea?”
“Can you explain the ways that Arlington County benefits from all this development?”
Zannat, a rising junior at Washington-Lee High School, who was wearing a black skirt and gray tailored jacket, displayed an air of calm professionalism as she read each question. Behind her, Chris Oxenford, 17, an H-B Woodlawn senior, worked the camera, watching the screen as the developer talked about creating affordable housing and avoiding sprawl.
The teenagers are participants in the Document Arlington Project, a five-week apprenticeship for aspiring documentary makers run by the Arlington public school system’s Humanities Project and Arlington Independent Media, which produces public access television programming.