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TRENTON – Celebrating its 17th year, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Family Development is holding its annual Teen Media Contest to reinforce the Department’s mission to instill an understanding of parental responsibility in teens.  The statewide contest is open to all New Jersey middle and high school students.This year’s challenge to tweens and teens is to depict a unique quality in your parent(s) that you see in yourself and hope to pass on to your children.

Students’ hand-drawn submissions should illustrate a positive or inspiring quality.  For example: a parent’s generosity, honesty, compassion or skill.

"Parents are role models for their children, often in ways they never expected or imagined,” said Jeanette Page Hawkins, director of the Division of Family Development. “Kids watch their parents and learn behaviors from them. It’s important to highlight the importance of this generational link when it comes to the responsibilities of parenting.”

The New Jersey Department of Human Services has been holding the Teen Media Contest since 1995 to bring parenting into focus. New Jersey's Child Support program encourages young people to think about the commitment and maturity involved in good parenting.

All entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, March 30, 2012.  Staff from the Department’s Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest.  Winners will receive U.S. Savings Bonds and certificates of achievement during a springtime awards ceremony. 

To see examples of art from previous winners and for teachers who want to register online, visit or contact Shachar Sharon at 973-286-8283 or

For more information about child support services, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit

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