Norm Cady & Jeff Lewis

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Land of Dreams – By Norm Cady & Jeff Lewis

Norm Cady

I am writing to introduce myself, my music and my love of country. My home is in a small community in western New York. Although I have worked most of my life as a contractor, I have also spent most of my life as a musician and songwriter. I hope my music will be an inspiration to all Americans.

Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis, 41, is from Sinclairville, NY.  For the past twenty years, Jeff has been playing live shows and recording in his studio.  He spent many years traveling around performing as an opening act for some of country music’s finest, sharing the stage with the likes of George Jones, Diamond Rio, Patty Loveless, Toby Keith, Neil McCoy, Brad Paisley, Emerson Drive, Cindy Thompson, Ty Herndon, Collin Ray, Steve Azar and Lonestar.   His passion for music still runs deep but has had to take a side seat to raising his children and running his construction company.  After many years of Jeff being out of the music business, longtime friend Norm Cady came to Jeff with his incredible song, Land of Dreams.  Norm has spent his life writing great songs but this one is different.  Norm, Jeff, Antony Brown and Rich Alcorn hit the studio and out came the uplifting patriotic hit Land of Dreams.

Lindsay Gallagher

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Lindsay Gallagher is a senior at Spencerport High School in Spencerport, NY. She is the manager of her school’s bookstore, the Vice President of Competition for her DECA chapter, the president of her school’s Business Honor Society, the president of her Model UN team, and the founder and president of her school’s Girl Up Club. She is also the Regional Summit and Event Coordinator for the Upstate New York Girl Up Coalition and works as a pharmacy technician at the Wegmans Pharmacy. Lindsay is excited to be attending college next year to major in Finance.

View Winning Work Here.

EMILY KITZMILLER

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Emily Kitzmiller, 19, is the 2017 Best College Song winner and the 2016 Best College PSA winner. She grew up in Vernal, Utah, but has most recently spent time with her family in Colorado. Emily has been singing for as long as she can remember and started playing the guitar and writing songs a few years ago to counteract a busy school life. She is a sophomore at Brigham Young University where she is pursuing an undergrad degree in Family Sciences with a minor in music. Emily loves people and music, and she hopes to be able to combine those loves at grad school and become a music therapist.  Click here for the lyrics to Emily’s song: It’s A Shame!

ISAIAH ROSS & CAMERON GWYNN Best College Song

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My name is Isaiah Ross! I am currently a Freshman at the University of Georgia, where I am earning a degree in biology. I also march trumpet in the Redcoat Band! My hometown is Chatsworth, GA. My friend Cameron and I are honored to accept this scholarship.

My name is Cameron Gwynn, and I’m a first year Music Theory and Music Composition student at the University of Georgia. I’m primarily a trumpet player, and I’ve been playing piano for three years. I’ve always loved writing music, so I really enjoyed getting to write a song for Isaiah to sing.

OCIPARE “KEY” MCKINLEY

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Ocipare McKinley is a 45 year old wife, mother, performer and entrepreneur. Most people affectionately call her Key; she is originally from Hartford, Connecticut and she now resides in Columbus, Ohio. Key graduated with honors from the Ohio Center of Broadcasting with her diploma in Radio and Television Broadcasting and she is matriculating at Franklin University where she is going for her Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Being a mother/caregiver of a young adult with autism, Key hopes to inspire other adults to complete their education at all costs. “As a woman, life sometimes catches us putting a greater emphasis on our families and very little care for ourselves… now that my daughter is an adult, this is the year where I get to do for myself and completing my undergrad education was first on my bucket list.”

CODY WOODS

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Cody Woods is a Sophomore at Morehouse College majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Atlanta, GA. Cody shared his story with us. In my life, there have been three teachers that have taught me so much, and those teachers are Adversity, Pain, and Failure. When I was young I was ridiculed and misunderstood because I was different, but according to worldly standards I was well off because my family was doing well. Until the economic recession in 2008, and I was stripped of what I thought of as my normal. I lost my home, all of my possessions, and my family as I knew it, and we had to do whatever it took to survive. Eventually, I hit bedrock and at my bedrock is where I found God, and he found me in the scrap yard of disparity, and Changed my life and my perception. My teachers turned from Adversity, Pain, and Failure to Perseverance, Grace, and Favor. Know I am operating in my purpose and my gift of Glorifying him, and changing the world through my mind and heart for entrepreneurship, which has now brought me to Morehouse College. During my matriculation I have been Blessed to go to China to get an international perspective on life, become one the heads of a student organization as a freshman, which has taught me leadership skills, and intern at a notable record label that has allowed me to reinvent my mind for entrepreneurship, and Love for my fellow man. Where I am at now is far from the beginning because I know through my works and Faith I will be able to go places and help people beyond own dreams and understanding. The sky is not the limit, it is just the beginning.

Read Winning Work Here.

DESTINY DUKES

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Destiny Dukes, 18, was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, but raised in Norfolk, Virginia. Destiny is currently a freshman at Tidewater Community College. She has always had a fascination in United States history and stays current with the politics of her country. She is the second oldest of five and has a total of eight animals at home, four cats and four dogs. In the Fall of 2017 she plans on attending her second year at TCC hoping to get her associates degree in Science. Her mom is her inspiration and her dad is her hero. Both of them fully support her in her aspiration of having a career in law enforcement as a lab technician.

Download Winning Work Here.

OCTAVIA TAYLOR

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For over 45 years, Octavia Taylor inspired her students in the Camden High School classroom to achieve their personal best in their lives, as well as in volleyball, tennis, drill/dance team and gymnastics. She was a role model that many students followed into their own teaching professions. Her popularity is evident when she is greeted frequently by former students with hugs and squeals! She was born and raised in Arkansas, graduated from University of Central Arkansas in Conway when it was Arkansas State Teachers College, and as a young mother, began teaching. With five grown children and nine grandchildren, she continues to lead and teach in the community – even at the age of 90! Octavia chairs the DAR Constitution Week celebration in Ouachita County, and personally participates in the “Bells Across America” bell ringing at her St. John’s Episcopal Church. She yearly writes letters in the newspaper promoting the Constitution, and gets Proclamations declared by the Mayor and the County Judge. She serves on the Oakland Cemetery Preservation Committee of the Ouachita County Historical Society, and is a character twice a year in the Cemetery Walks. She is often photographed in her elaborate costumes, made by one of her daughters. School children are treated to her stories of “tales past” during the Camden Daffodil Festival, as well as when on school tours to the McCollum Chidester House, where she is a docent. When Octavia is not teaching history, she is involved in Garden Club projects, promoting Music Club opportunities and, during the summer months, teaching water aerobics in the city pool. She has served as state DAR Conservation Chair and is a Master Gardener, reflecting her interest to promote butterfly and bird friendly yards in her own landscaping. She has been involved in planting thousands of daffodil bulbs all over town.

Octavia is considered “ageless” to her many friends, and enjoys intergenerational friendships far and wide. To keep up with Octavia, one has to put on running shoes and be willing to get involved in a project. She puts her words into actions and motivates others to do the same.

Read Essay Here.

ROBERT MOAK

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Bob has been an equine veterinarian for 42 years. He attended Louisiana State University and Oklahoma State University. He is a race track veterinarian, and spent the majority of his career at paramutual race tracks in Louisiana and California. He has been semi-retired since 1999, and lives in Estes Park, Colorado with his wife, Linda. They have three children and two grandchildren. Bob became acquainted with Constituting America seven years ago when his granddaughter won Best Poem in the inaugural year of the program, and has been an avid fan ever since!

Read Essay Here.

OLETTA BRANSTITER

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I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, but have lived in Texas for over 30 years. I’ve been married for almost 35 years, we have two grown children and two grandchildren. After homeschooling my daughter, I started working at our neighborhood elementary school as a 4th Grade Aide, then a para-librarian. I’ve worked as a para-librarian at Sue Crouch Intermediate School in Crowley ISD, since 2012. It’s a two-year campus for 5th and 6th grade, so every other year I teach Our Nation’s Foundations to supplement Social Studies curriculum. I’m also known in local circles as the Tap-Dancing Librarian for hosting an after school Tap Club.

Read Lesson Plan Here.

JESSE BLUMA

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I am from Monarch Beach, California and currently a world history teacher at Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest, California. The students in my classes are fascinating people and I am confident in their abilities to learn, grow, and make valuable contributions to our society. That is why I collaborate with other teachers to do cross-curricular activities, share stories about my travels, my entrepreneurship in the food business, and take interest in what students have to say about history and its lessons. Fundamentally, I promote student ownership for learning. Treasuring our Constitution, practicing what we preach, and knowing our place in history is our guiding light. Students in my classes do brilliant things, have excellent curiosities, and learn so much. We go on fun adventures, perform engaging puppet shows, do hard work, visit museums, and celebrate remarkable accomplishments throughout history at our World’s Faire. Certainly, my hope is students come away knowing life loves a student.

Read Lesson Plan Here.

MARIN MCKINNEY

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Marin Mckinney, 10, lives in Ballwin, Missouri. She is homeschooled and is in the fourth grade. Her favorite subject in school is reading, and she also enjoys history and math. Her favorite historical time period is the American Revolution. Marin has taken art classes every week for the last three+ years and loves it! She is passionate about art and design and hopes to someday become a professional artist. In her free time, Marin likes to create projects in her “Creation Station” and loves to play soccer. She also manages to squeeze in time to play with her two younger brothers of whom she adores! She’s thrilled to have won this award and looks forward to sharing with others the importance of the Constitution.

View Artwork Here.

REBECCA CANALES

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With this poetry category, Becca creatively had fun while using the French political philosopher’s name (Montesquieu) in an acrostic to enlighten the reader of our nation’s ‘Checks and Balances’ system. Becca, 12, is currently a 6th grader at London ISD and lives with her parents, younger sister and two brothers in the sparkling city of Corpus Christi, Texas. While striving for good grades, her favorite subjects are Reading and Writing. Hobbies include listening to music and any activities that involve creative designing. In a leadership capacity last year, Rebecca received the school’s Academic Excellence (or Marlin) Award with her essay entitled “The Importance of Family.” With more time and focus, Becca hopes to gain greater understanding and appreciation for our beloved Constitution and how it connects with our everyday life.

Read Poem Here.

FAITH LIU

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Faith Liu, 22, grew up in Morganville, New Jersey, spending most of her high school years writing and producing short films within a small company of friends. She received her B.A. in English and Music from Hillsdale College, where she designed and directed two student productions – Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Shakespeare’s Macbeth – and spent a summer at Oxford University as part of their study abroad program. She is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Screenwriting at the University of Southern California.

MATT FITZGIBBONS

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Since 2004, Matt Fitzgibbons has been writing non-partisan music that celebrates America’s founding principles. His goal is to inspire people to think, learn and talk about individual liberty.

Fitzgibbons has released four albums which have received many honors including two ASCAPlus awards, a song featured in a documentary on the Right to Bear Arms, a second place award in an Irish songwriting contest, and an Honorable mention in the 2016 SongDoor International Songwriting Competition, among others. With his music, videos, writing and hundreds of interviews across the country and abroad, Fitzgibbons has reached millions of people with his positive message. For more information, music, videos, show dates and booking, Matt Fitzgibbons’ website is PatriotMusic.com

LUCAS ELLIOTT

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Lucas Elliott is a second grader from Wake Forest, North Carolina. His favorite subjects in school are math and reading. Since he is the youngest of four children, he is well versed in making sure his thoughts and ideas are not ever lost in the shuffle. He loves to entertain and is excited about all forms of media. He hopes to have a forum to share his vision with the world in the future. He also loves to play basketball, and tinker around the house with his tool set. He had many questions during this past election season and enjoyed writing his poem as he was learning about how our government was designed.

Read Poem Here.

LIRIT KAYE

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Lirit Kaye, 10, lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She attends Benchmark Elementary School and is in the fourth grade. Her favorite subjects are math and art. Drawing always has been Lirit’s passion. She has taken art classes at the Carrie Curran Art Studios in Scottsdale and from Mrs. Blanco in the Benchmark after school program. Lirit has earned a Blue Belt in Karate and likes to sing and dance. She enjoys constructing Lego sets and playing golf with her older brother. Lirit is truly honored to have won this award.

HALLEY MOAK

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Halley is a native Coloradan, and is an 8th grade home schooled student. She has studied piano, music theory and plays the ukulele. Halley keeps busy with her nine chickens, two Schnauzers and three horses. She enjoys riding the trails, participating in the rodeo and is a committed hunter/jumper equestrian athlete. Halley loves history and is a past Best Elementary Poem winner.

SARAH LEARNED

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I am homeschooled and I live in Sanford, Florida. I love to sing and write songs, Other things that I enjoy are drawing, swimming, filming, and dancing. I play the ukulele and piano. I love animals and have two dogs and a turtle. I like to hangout with my friends and we usually make songs and stories together! I would like to be a voice over actress, writer, or a singer songwriter someday!

QUENTIN FULTON

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Quinten, 15, Best Middle School Entrepreneurial Winner, lives in Suwanee, GA and is currently a freshman in high school. He plays basketball and enjoys drawing and listening to music. Quinten’s favorite subjects are Social Studies and Science. Quinten recently traveled to Vermont and New Jersey to see extended family and looks to travel more in the future. Quinten is a talented artist, who enjoys developing his craft.

View Winning Work Here.

VICTORIA GRUEN

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Victoria Gruen, 13, lives in California. Her favorite subject in school is early American history. Pounding her soul out on the piano is one of her favorite things to do. She likes needlework, and is currently sewing time-period clothing. Among her favorite authors are Austen and Alcott; her favorite books are Pride and Prejudice and Little Women. When Victoria grows up, she wants a career in politics. As a firm believer in freedom and the Constitution, she wants to defend the principles that our Founding Fathers held – among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

View Winning Work Here.

ANDREW COOKSEY

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Andrew Cooksey, 12, enjoys rafting, target shooting, road trips, skiing, basketball, politics, camping, and other outdoor activities. He lives near Portland, Oregon. He is homeschooled, plays in an orchestra, and his favorite subject is Greek. He also enjoys history and math. He likes to try out new Mexican restaurants with his brothers.

CLAIRE LEDFORD

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Claire Ledford, 12 is the winner of the Middle School Essay Contest. She is a homeschooler from Sanford, North Carolina. She enjoys reading, writing and watching movies. Some of her favorite books are A Girl of the Limberlost, the Serafina series and Cracker. She also loves to travel and is working on a travel challenge to visit 15 countries, all 50 states, all 100 counties in her state by 2020. She is about half way there. Previously, she lobbied for a homeschool bill that was passed and she was able to attend the bill signing with the Governor. She is part of NC Junior Historian through her History Hounds Club and has won numerous statewide contests. She is very excited about winning this contest and teaching others about the Constitution.

Read Essay Here.

GREG VOLYNSKY

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Greg Volynsky, 17, the best entrepreneurship winner, is a native of New Jersey and a student at the Bergen County Academies. Throughout his high school career, Greg has continually explored various fields; engineering research became an entrepreneurial experience, passionate discussions turned into formal debate. Greg is an active method of the Junior Statesmen of America and coaches debate at the Bergen County Debate Club. For Greg, discussions are both intellectually stimulating and plain interesting; but they are not enough. Recently, Greg began to volunteer on a local city-wide campaign, where he works directly with the candidate to draft policy proposals. Furthermore, Greg realized that most media coverage is political commentary, not actual policy analysis; so Greg launched a website – Politiscope News (PolitiscopeNews.com), which aggregates policy-related articles and analysis. Greg hopes to continue to turn conversations into actions wherever he goes and to apply the entrepreneurial approach to government, for it is by thinking creatively and pursuing policy beyond the constraints of politics that we can harness innovative solutions to help real people.

View Winning Work Here.

CAMERON GRAVES

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My name is Cameron Alexander Graves. I was born on Oct 30, 1998 in Portsmouth, Virginia and moved to Alexandria, VA in 2007. I am currently a senior at T.C. Williams High School and plan on going to college to get my masters’s in Business. Ever since the age of 14, I’ve been a huge fan of Hip-Hop music. So much of a fan, I took up the art form myself and began writing raps and poems. Over the years, I’ve developed my own distinct style, and have received local recognition because of it. This positive feedback has only deepened my passion for the art, which is why one of my top goals is to become one of the best lyricists to ever live.

BEN PHIBBS

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Ben Phibbs is a 17-year old homeschool junior from North Carolina who plans to attend Patrick Henry College in preparation for a career in constitutional law. Inspired by his parents to revere the treasured tradition of American Republicanism, Ben has, from a young age, admired the rich history of the Founding and laudable structure of the Constitution. For enrichment and service, Ben participates in debate and moot court, tutors at a local Christian school, and leads his church youth band.

Read Essay Here.

ISABELLA CRING

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As a senior at Western High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Isabella Cring, 17, is already a veteran in vocal performance and local theater. With musicals, open mic nights, coffee houses, civic organizations and even a lead singer at the Renaissance, where she performs weekly in her father’s church, she has scattered the seeds of her talent and has begun to harvest a great crop of appreciation. About a year ago Isabella added song-writing to her pursuits, using both the piano and the ukulele. Isabella also leads the South Florida Cappies (Junior Theater Critic) and is a food bank and mentoring volunteer.

XAVIER “JACK” DUFFY

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Jack Duffy is a freshman at Newman Catholic High School in Wausau, Wisconsin. At the age eleven he discovered filmmaking and it has been his passion ever since. Jack loves to free ski, run track, and play soccer, but he spends most of his time watching movies, script writing, shooting, editing, and working to earn money to buy more film equipment. After high school graduation he plans to go to college and study film. In the meantime, Jack continues to make films starring his friends, neighbors and his seven brothers and sisters.

GRACE FLORING – Best High School PSA 2016/Best College STEM Project 2017

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Grace Floring, 19, is the 2017 Best College STEM winner and 2016 Best High School PSA winner. She grew up in Delaware, Ohio and is currently an undergraduate student at Case Western Reserve University studying Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Grace has always been interested in science and math, and someday hopes to inspire young women to pursue their interests in STEM. She is excited to continue being involved in her community as her college career continues.

 

Grace’s Winning STEM PROJECT

 

KIRA MATHIESEN

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Kira Mathiesen is 18 and currently in Boston, Massachusetts studying Biochemistry on a Pre-Med track. She is originally from Santa Cruz California, where she was first inspired to get active politically in her community, and now participates in many marches and peaceful protests on the east coast. She is working hard to make sure her and every person’s voices are heard while also studying hard to get her degree in 2020.

Read Essay Here.