Area youth encouraged to enter NJ Teen Media Contest

TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Human Services has issued a call for entries for the 24th annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights the department’s mission to celebrate and support families. This annual contest — run by the Department’s Division of Family Development — is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-aged students. This year, the contest will once again accept entries in the hand-painted/hand-drawn and written word categories. For 2019, the computer-generated and digital artwork category returns by popular demand.

This year’s challenge to teens is to illustrate through regular or computer/digital art, as well as the written word, a situation in your life when you felt most supported by a parent or loved one. Teens are invited to show when they most appreciate having parents or loved ones present in their daily life.

“For more than two decades, the New Jersey Teen Media Contest has celebrated families, and highlighted the importance of young people having a strong support network,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “We are delighted to continue this strong tradition.”

“The contest focuses on celebrating family, while raising awareness about parental responsibility and the importance of parents and loved ones being deeply involved in a child’s life,” said Patricia A. Risch, assistant director of the division’s Office of Child Support Services. “The New Jersey Teen Media Contest has been part of our effort to foster that understanding for nearly 25 years. Year after year, the entire department is struck by the creativity, vision and talent that students bring to the contest. We look forward to seeing the creative works of this year’s entrants, and how they creatively conceptualize the essence of family.”

All entries must be postmarked no later than April 5. Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second and third places in both the middle and high school groups for each entry category, with each receiving a prize package at an awards ceremony in May.

Winning entries will be included in the 2020 Office of Child Support Calendar and be placed on display in the New Jersey State House in Trenton shortly after the awards event. A number of honorable mention entries will be selected for possible inclusion in the State House exhibit and possibly the calendar. The 2019 calendar can be viewed or downloaded from the contest homepage, to serve as inspiration for the teens. The website also provides the official rules, frequently asked questions, entry forms, a look at the winners and honorable mentions from previous contests, and other important contest information.