TRENTON, NJ – Two Piscataway High School students were among 12 others who received top honors in the 2018 New Jersey Teen Media Contest, taking home prizes for their artistic depictions of their family trees.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Department of Human Services honored 1st Place winner, Mia Tomasino and 2nd Place winner, Avia Hurley for their original hand-made artwork interpreting this year’s theme, “Child Support. It’s more than just money.”

“The annual contest, now in its 23rd year, is just one way that we provide support to family units and young people statewide,” said Natasha Johnson, the department’s Division of Family Development Director. “We welcome the opportunity to provide our young people a medium to really think about their family unit in a completely creative way.”  

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Competing in the Middle School and High School Artistic and Written categories, each winner received a plaque of achievement, a gift card and a pair of day passes to Six Flags Great Adventure. 

“We are continually amazed at the talent, thought and emotion that the students put into their entries,” said Human Services Commissioner, Carole Johnson. “The caliber of the entries is a testament to the students and their teachers and schools. The contest saw one of its greatest levels of participation this year, and we thank schools statewide for continuing to embrace this program. From a short story on the boundless nature of family to poems about the history of prior generations to visually captivating artwork, this year’s winners rose to the top through their unique and personal perspectives on family and their ability to capture the theme through imagination, words and images.”

Winning entries will be on display in the Statehouse Annex Tunnel in Trenton from May 29 to June 1 and will be featured in the 2019 Child Support calendar.

The winners:

High School Artwork category:

·         First place, Mia Tomasino, Piscataway High School;

·         Second place, Avia Hurley, Piscataway High School;

·         Third place, Miya Preyer, Point Pleasant Beach High School

Middle School Artwork category:

·         First place, Bianca Lumang, Academy 1 Middle School (Jersey City);

·         Second place, Krishna Patel, Academy 1 Middle School (Jersey City);

·         Third place, Kacey Zuniga, Levitt Middle School (Willingboro).

High School Written category:

·         First place, Sophia Ginet, Ocean City High School;

·         Second place, Hannah Malcolm, Point Pleasant Beach High School;

·         Third place, Lauren Mirsky, Ocean City High School.

Middle School Written category:

·         First place, Isha Shrivastava, Linwood Middle School (North Brunswick);  

·         Second place, Davian Small, Memorial Middle School (Willingboro);

·         Third place, Kelsey Besser, Olson Middle School (Tabernacle).

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