New Brunswick, NJ – U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced the recipients of the prestigious Congressional Award, this year’s U.S. Service Academy nominees and the winners of the 2016 Sixth Congressional District High School Arts Competition at a Congressional Awards Ceremony.  Students representing several local high schools were honored at the reception, held at Rutgers University.  In addition, distinguished guests discussed the importance of the fields recognized.  More information on all of the winners can be found here (link to spring awards ceremony press release.)

Young artists from various schools in Middlesex and Monmouth counties participated in this year’s art competition, which is part of the nationwide program known as “An Artistic Discovery.”  Local judges chose first, second and third place winners, and also awarded 15 honorable mentions.  The first place winner, Jamie Ramos, will have her artwork displayed for the next year in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. 

Congressional Art Competition Finalists:

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First Place: Jamie Ramos, Piscataway High School

Second Place: Briana Reis, Long Branch High School

Third Place: Yihan Wu, High Technology High School

Honorable Mentions:

·         Noralie Abreu of Perth Amboy High School

·         Amy Acosta of Perth Amboy High School

·         Shreya Devarakonda of John P. Stevens High School

·         Mary Dvorsky of Piscataway High School

·         Michelle Fan of Highland Park High School

·         Johanny Gonzalez Rios of Perth Amboy High School

·         Jennifer Guo of Wardlaw-Hartridge High School

·         Carmen Guzman of Long Branch High School

·         Giorel Laxamana of Piscataway High School

·         Jana Li of John P. Stevens High School

·         Katie Maas of Piscataway High School

·         Ann Marie Melfi of Red Bank Regional High School

·         Wenyi Ouyang of Highland Park High School

·         Neha Patel of Piscataway High School

·         Gabriela Vega of Red Bank Regional High School

“I have long believed that Congress should play a major role in encouraging the arts,” Pallone said.  “This competition provides a forum to help the aspiring young artists of our area gain recognition and exposure.  Young artists can gain confidence in themselves and their abilities by displaying their work and having it evaluated by knowledgeable judges.”