Dory Stilwell and Caleb Ligon didn't expect their school assignment would make history.
On Sunday, the Rock Hill branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will present a documentary created by the Lewisville High School juniors.
For several months, Stilwell and Ligon filmed interviews with NAACP members who survived years of fighting for civil rights around Rock Hill. Using film editing equipment they got from Ligon's dad, the pair created a 20-minute DVD.
"I feel like it changed my life," said Stilwell, 17.
The teens spent hours listening to stories of struggle.
"Some of the stories are hard to hear," said Ligon, 16.
The four hours of footage they captured will go in the local NAACP archives to preserve history, said Susie Hinton, the Rock Hill branch's first vice president.
Hinton has plans to get the footage to the group's national headquarters, although she declined to specify what she has in mind.
At Lewisville High, in the Chester County community of Richburg about 15 miles south of Rock Hill, seniors must create a project that includes a product that will benefit society.
Stilwell and Ligon had to do the work because they're in a senior English course.
On Stilwell's first visit to the NAACP office, Hinton told her the group needed someone to document older members' experiences. Stilwell said she immediately thought of Ligon, a video guru.
"Oh my gosh, I said 'Yes, this is what we're looking for,'" Hinton said. "Initially, we were talking that she would do some kind of written report."
Ligon was excited to get on board.
Before this, he said, "I was going to rebuild an old Chevrolet" for the project.
Social studies teacher Shawn Reen, Stilwell's mentor on the project, pushed her to take the opportunity to broaden her horizons.
"She's pretty conservative by nature," Reen said. "An ultraconservative" who's quick to share her views, Ligon said laughing.
But not so much anymore, according to Stilwell. "The experience makes me want to listen to other people's opinions more," she said.
The pair scored A's on the project but said that wasn't the most rewarding part.
It was when Hinton offered to reimburse them for the money they spent on gas and videos.
The teens said no thanks. Donating their work, they said, was more important.
• Juanita Toatley, left, and Brother David Boone, right, among others, told their stories on the civil rights struggle on a documentary DVD produced by Lewisville High juniors Dory Stilwell and Caleb Ligon. To see excerpts of the documentary, visit our Web site: