Department of Human Services | Christie Administration Awards Teens for Creative Display Celebrating Family Diversity
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TRENTON – May 13, 2015 – The Department of Human Services (DHS) today honored six New Jersey high school and middle school students at an event hosted by DHS’ Division of Family Development’s Office of Child Support. The students were honored for their winning entries in the Department of Human Services’ Teen Media Contest, which acknowledged and celebrated the many different forms families take. 
 
 
The contest uses the topic of family to engage high school and middle school students in creative thinking through art.  Students, under the guidance of their school’s art faculty, create original handmade artwork to complement the Department’s ongoing advertising and outreach campaign: “Child Support. It’s more than just money.”  Winners are chosen based upon their interpretation of the year’s theme, with the winning artwork and a select number of “honorable mention” pieces included in the annual Child Support calendar published every year. Last year’s winners and honorable mentions can be viewed online.

“This year’s theme captured the diversity of family structures in New Jersey, while honoring the contributions they make through community service to their neighbors and their world,” said Acting DHS Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly. “This year’s artwork clearly shows the enthusiasm of the students to show how they can make positive contributions to society.”

The challenge to students was to illustrate the way in which “families are greater than the sum of their parts.” This theme encourages students to show how families can make an impact on their neighborhood, their community and their world, regardless of the traditional or non-traditional family structure.

“We are amazed, year after year, on how the students internalize the annual theme and create some beautiful artwork. Each of the hundreds of entries we receive each year contain unique illustrations of parents and their children, from all walks of life,” said Natasha Johnson, Division of Family Development Director.

Winners in the high school category:
• First place, Priyanka Malholtra, Piscataway Township High School
• Second place, Samra Shakeel, Union County Vocational-Technical High School (Scotch Plains)
• Third place, Anthony Troiano, Union County Vocational-Technical High School (Scotch Plains)

Winners in the middle school category:
• First place, Sharina Kuo, Carusi Middle School (Cherry Hill)
• Second place, Elizabeth Kamara, Academy 1 Middle School (Jersey City)
• Third place, Rashel Caraballo, Academy 1 Middle School (Jersey City)

In addition to having their artwork featured in the 2016 calendar, each winner receives a plaque of achievement, an American Express gift card, and a pair of day passes to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey.  All winning entries will be displayed in the Statehouse Annex Tunnel from May 18th through 22nd.

For more information about this program or the New Jersey Office of Child Support Services, please call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or go to www.njchildsupport.org.
 

 
 
 
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