NJ Human Services Awards Teens for Creatively Celebrating Dreams and Achievements with Family Support
State Recognizes Winners for the 2022 New Jersey Teen Media Contest
June 8, 2022
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Human Services is honoring 12 New Jersey high school and middle school students for their winning entries in the 2022 New Jersey Child Support Teen Media Contest, which, this year, celebrates the dreams and future achievements of Garden State youth through the support of family, friends and loved ones. Students across New Jersey were asked to submit artistic, hand-drawn and written portrayals celebrating dreams the teens have, and how their family and loved ones are helping them to achieve and meet these goals.
“On behalf of the Department, I want to congratulate this year’s winners. Every year we are blown away by the talent of our young people and their ability to so artfully convey these important themes. Young people benefit from having a strong support system, and we are just so proud of all the students who shared their dreams and their familial stories with us. I encourage everyone to visit the contest website at www.NJTeenMedia.org to see the winning entries,” said Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman.
Teens enter the annual contest individually or through their school, and winners’ works are featured in the Human Services’ Child Support calendar published each year. Winners are chosen based upon their interpretation of the year’s theme: What is your dream and how are your parents/loved ones helping you get there?
“We are continually impressed by the quality of the works submitted and the thoughtfulness that goes into creating them. I want to congratulate the winners and their families for sharing their talent with us
and helping us spread the message that children — regardless of what their family structure may look like – deserve to be loved and supported by the adults in their lives,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.
“This contest is one of the ways that we regularly bring attention to New Jersey’s Child Support program,” said Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who oversees the Department’s Division of Family Development. “The enduring slogan for New Jersey’s Child Support program is ‘Child Support. It’s more than just money,’ and we encourage our young contest participants to think about their support system and the important role their parents and loved ones play in their everyday lives.”
Winners in the Hand-Drawn/Hand-Painted category for middle schools:
- 1st Place: Yoojin Jeon, East Brook Middle School
- 2nd Place: Sharon Lee, East Brook Middle School
- 3rd Place: Hajin Kim, Brookside School
Winners in the Hand-Drawn/Hand-Painted category for high schools:
- 1st Place: Olatomi Gabriel, Freehold Township High School
- 2nd Place: Yaxuan Wang, Livingston High School
- 3rd Place: Erin Park, Bergen County Academies
Winners in the Written Work category for middle schools:
- 1st Place: Chayenne Rojas, Soaring Heights Charter School
- 2nd Place: Victoria DeVito, Bernardsville Middle School
- 3rd Place: Vinaya Vittal, Academy 1 Middle School
Winners in the Written Work category for high schools:
- 1st Place: Samma Faragalla, Dwight Morrow High School
- 2nd Place: Ayah Abbassi, Pillars Preparatory Academy
- 3rd Place: Soojin Kim, Dwight Morrow High School
In addition to having their work featured in the 2023 Child Support calendar, students with winning entries received congratulatory plaques and prizes acknowledging their achievement at an awards event at the New Jersey State House. Winning pieces may be viewed on the contest website at www.NJTeenMedia.org.
For more information about the New Jersey Child Support program, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit www.njchildsupport.org.
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