NATALIE CUZMENCO

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Natalie Cuzmenco, 19, is from Charlotte, North Carolina and is a sophomore at Elon University. There, she is an Odyssey Scholar, a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, and is in the process of founding a chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. She is majoring in Economics and minoring in Political Science and Spanish. She realized her passion for politics and the Constitution during the 2008 election.

JONATHAN LUDWIG

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Best College Speech: Jonathan Ludwig, 20, was born in Ankara, Turkey, and is in the middle of his junior year at Bob Jones University in his hometown of Greenville, SC. He enjoys extra-curricular activities such as debate, mock trial, and student legislature and has held various leadership positions with those organizations. Jonathan plans to pursue a career in criminal law and hopes to become politically active in campaign leadership.

NIC DOWNS

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Best College PSA: Nic Downs, 20, is from Dana Point, California. He will begin his junior year this fall at Point Loma Nazarene University in Southern California. He loves writing, foreign languages, people, and cultures, and always searches for ways to learn more in these areas. Excelling in Italian and French, he has tutored at Saddleback College and has also worked privately, teaching Italian to missionaries bound for Italy. He has participated in mission trips to Spain, Africa, and the Caribbean, along with family expeditions throughout the world. Over the last few years, Nic has taken a keen interest in politics, and is especially passionate about the Constitution and the issues that threaten its existence. In addition, he recently attended the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Summit in Washington, D.C.

MATTHEW MCNEY

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Matthew McNey, 21, was born in Columbia, MD; however, he was raised in College Park, Burtonsville and Laurel. As a product of the American Dream he was instilled with strong religious convictions, hard work and dedication. He was not born into a rich family; his was a family best characterized as middle class, a family battling with drug addiction and alcoholism. Matthew goes to school and works full time with plans to go to Harvard Law and Harvard Business School to earn a JD and MBA, and to become a corporate attorney. He has been involved in politics since he was 13. He joined the Democratic Party when he was 16, and eventually became the President of the Maryland Federation of College Democrats.

KORI CASWELL

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Kori Caswell, 18, Best College Song Winner, is from Hannibal, Missouri, made famous in the writings of Mark Twain. She is now a freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she is a commercial double Bass major. Kori is in the honors program and is in the university’s symphony. Kori is well known in her home community with her work with literacy, history, the arts council and her church. Upon graduation, Kori plans to pursue a career as a professional musician.

KENTHIA FARMER

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Kenthia Farmer, 19, Best College Short Film Winner, is a sophomore from Memphis, TN. Her parents are Kenneth and Cynthia Farmer. Growing up in Memphis allowed her to be introduced, consistently, to so much history: from music to civil rights. Kenthia loves retelling history in various and creative ways using her artistic skills she acquired from her performing arts high school, Overton High. She currently attends the University of Miami. There, she studies business in hopes to become a successful entrepreneur upon graduation. Kenthia also minors in motion pictures.

SHELBY SEYMOR

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Shelby Seymore, 19, Best College PSA Winner, has begun her sophomore year at Angelo State University this fall. She enjoys video production, art such as drawing and painting, reading about US history, and actively discussing the issues of the day. She is currently studying a major in Communications, specializing in Radio/TV/Film. She first began video editing when she was in seventh grade at Jayton ISD. Shelby aspires to have a career as a director, and her own show that includes teaching history, while relating it to current events.

JUSTIS WARD

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Justis Ward, 18, Best College Song Winner, is from Douglasville, Georgia. He is a Freshman at Mercer University and is currently on a Pre-Med track. He recently graduated from Central High School, where he was MVP on his Varsity Basketball Team and Student Body President. Along with his high school activities, he volunteered over 3000 hours at a local afterschool program and summer camp. However, despite his busy schedule, he always finds time to write and compose music, as playing his guitar and singing are two of his favorite pastimes.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/89623582

MICAH EDWARDS

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Micah Edwards, 18, Best College Song Winner, lives in Houston, Texas. Currently, a junior at the University of Houston, he is part of the Bauer School of Business and pitches for the university’s baseball team. Along with his sister, he is also the co-founder, pianist, and lead singer of the locally popular Jazz/Pop group LEYBON (pronounced lay-bun). His future goals include becoming a major league pitcher and then eventually moving on to the front office of a major league sports franchise.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/86725359

THOMAS COOKE

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Thomas Cooke, 20, Best College Speech Winner, is originally from Hastings, Nebraska. He is beginning his junior year at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where he is an editor for the school newspaper’s opinion section, Chair of Cornell’s College Republicans chapter, and a competitor on the Mock Trial team. His mother teaches English as a second language to elementary school children and his father is a professor of math and computer science at Hastings College. Thomas’ older brother is in pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. Thomas has been interested in writing, public speaking, and current events from a very young age and enjoys opportunities to get involved in politics at every level.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/87014736

AMANDA TESAREK (2013 WINNER)

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Amanda Tesarek, 19, Best College Short Film Winner, is from Superior, Wisconsin, and attends Columbia University in New York City. She is currently a sophomore, and plans to pursue a double major in biochemistry and political science and a minor in Arabic language. Her extracurricular activities have included student government, newspaper, and improvisational comedy. Amanda was especially inspired to enter this contest after attending the American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State and Girls Nation programs, which taught her the importance of patriotism and appreciating those who serve in the armed forces.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/85479083

EMILY CARNEVALE

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Emily Carnevale, 19, Best College PSA Winner, has begun her sophomore year at Denison University. She enjoys video production, art and discussing political and social issues. She especially enjoys writing and performing original slam poetry and is now an established poet on stage and in print. Through her powerful performances and films, Emily has been able to effectively communicate her message to audiences. She became interested in filmography when her father inspired her by making his own documentary. She has been filming and editing documentaries, PSAs, and short films since she was a sophomore at Centennial HS. Emily is double majoring in Cinema and English and aims to pursue a career that combines writing and video production.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/84928466

JUSTIN DIETRICH

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Justin Dietrich, 28, Best Grad/Law College Speech Winner, is a native of Bluffdale, Utah, but has also lived in California and Russia. He is a father of three and a second year master’s student at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Justin is pursuing a Master of Engineering degree with an emphasis in hydraulics and water resources. He loves the field of engineering because of the practical problem-solving aspects of it. This is the same reason he is passionate about history and political theory which are crucial to first understanding, and then addressing the folly in humanity. He reveres the Constitution of the United States of America as the best formulation for preserving freedom and happiness in society. Justin loves sports (especially basketball), but admits that playing them has taken a back seat to roughhousing with his kids. He is honored to be chosen as this year’s winner and is grateful for the unwavering support of his beautiful wife, Rachel, and wonderful kids, Elayna, Bethany, and Jack.

JOY FROST (2014 WINNER)

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Joy Frost, 22, Best College Song Winner, is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. She currently lives in Germany where she is studying music production. She is working hard at establishing herself as an independent songwriter abroad and hopes to one day soon have her work appear in film, TV, and on the radio.

JIM BOOKER

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James Booker, 22, Best College Song Winner, is a native of Portland, Michigan. He attends Belmont University as an audio engineering technology major and has interned for Soundcheck Nashville and Station West Studios. James has been involved in his local community arts council and has performed music for three Relay For Life events in Michigan. He is pursuing a career in country music performance.

DOMINGO HIRACHETA, 23 & ESTEBAN HIRACHETA, 19

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Brothers Domingo and Esteban Hiracheta (ages 23 and 19, respectively), Best College Song Winners, were born in Corpus Christi, Texas – four years apart, to the day and hour. Both now attend Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi where Domingo is a Computer Science major and Esteban is an Environmental Science major. They are music ministers for Islander Catholic, a growing Catholic student organization located on campus. They also make their own music as “Fire and Flame.” You can visit their website at FireAndFlameMusic.com.

ISAIAH JACKSON

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Isaiah Jackson, 18, Best College Song Winner, is from Chicago, Illinois. Isaiah is a poet, hip hop artist and songwriter. He grew up with four brothers and spiritual parents who taught him the love of God, and this is what instilled in him to write music for the people especially those who went through some hardship in their life. He was the first place winner in a Chicago area music competition judged by professional music industry producers who worked with the likes of Kanye West, Beyoncé, John Legend, and Lupe Fiasco. His favorite type of performance is spoken word because it forces you to listen to his words and to understand them. When he isn’t making poetry about the ongoing current issues facing our society, he enjoys to make comical songs.

JEWEL GILBERT (2014 WINNER)

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Jewel Gilbert, 20, Best College Speech Winner, is from Easton, Pennsylvania and a Freshman at Muhlenberg College. He is extremely grateful to have had his speech chosen as the Winner of Constituting America. Jewel has three passions: To serve God, play football, and perform with Sing For America. Sing for America is a charitable group founded by the Gilbert family in 2005. Performing up to 80 performances a year, stretching from Memphis to Maine, they do it to show appreciation for the Military families sacrificing so much for us. In 2011, Sing For America evolved as an entity striving to bring light and truth to the community through the arts in many different ways. Sing For America Productions was born, and since has done 8 Broadway style musicals incorporating professional and amateur talent under the slogan “The Arts Are Color Blind.” Out of the 224 cast members involved with SFAP, half of them are minorities. Many of the actors had their very first experience on stage with us. Sing For America has been able to donate over $40,000 to help military families in need by paying rent, heating bills, food, whatever they may need. www.SingForAmerica.com.

CAMBRIA MAGNUSON

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Cambria Magnuson, 19, Best College Short Film Winner, is from Fort Collins, Colorado. She discovered her passion for videography in her junior year video production class taught by Ron Clark at Rocky Mountain High School. She has used her skills to shoot weddings, sporting events and other miscellaneous projects. In addition to her passion for videography, Cambria also has a passion for running. Currently, she attends Colorado Christian University where she runs track and cross-country and is pursuing a degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in history.

JESSICA MULDER

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Jessica Mulder, 20, Best College PSA Winner, is from Williamsburg, Michigan and a sophomore majoring in government at Patrick Henry College. Currently, her plan is to focus on education and economic policy. She believes that the American government is a reflection of its citizens, and is passionate about creating an educational environment where American students can grow in respect for the past, responsibility for the present, and skills for the future. Jessica began carrying her video camera everywhere at age 10 and still enjoys filming and editing. Her other hobbies include running, biking, enjoying the lakes and snow in Michigan, and spending time with her family. She is actively involved in her church and especially enjoys working in the children’s ministry. She looks forward to seeing how her love of people, education, government, and God will direct her future career path.

JOY FROST

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Joy Frost, 23, second time Best College Song Winner, is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. She currently is studying abroad in Germany, majoring in music production. She is working hard at establishing herself as an independent songwriter and has signed several tracks to film and TV music libraries. She is currently recording her second album.

ZURIEL FERGUSON

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Zuriel Ferguson, 22, from Richmond, Virginia. Ever since Zuriel was a child he has been inspired to create films and tell stories. In 2011, he began to take video production and cinematography very serious by working with the Comcast Public Broadcasting organization in Richmond, VA as one of the producer/technicians while beginning to work in the freelance space for various local entities, and even journalism; taking his passion and skills to the United Nations in New York and to Costa Rica. He is currently attending ECPI College of Technology where he is pursuing a degree in the Computer and Information Science field.

NOLAN HICKS

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Nolan Hicks, 20, Best College PSA Winner, is a native of Steens, Mississippi. He is a formerly home educated student currently attending Mississippi State University pursuing a degree in Communications as a member of the Shackouls Honors College. Studying with an emphasis in broadcast media, he hopes to pursue a career in filmmaking and visual storytelling.

LAUREN SWEERS

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Lauren Sweers, 19, Best College PSA Winner, is from Middleville, Michigan and is currently a sophomore at Hope College in Holland, Michigan majoring in Secondary English Education and minoring in History Education. She is passionate about educating America’s young people so that they can think critically and express their ideas and beliefs confidently. She considers making films as one of her favorite hobbies, and also enjoys reading and playing the piano.

HANNAH COOKSEY

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Hannah Cooksey, 19, Best College Speech winner, lives in beautiful McMinnville, Oregon with her parents and seven siblings. She is studying to be a paralegal at Oak Brook College of Law. She loves Jesus, spending time with friends and family, cooking, playing violin and piano, teaching music lessons, and going on mission trips. Hannah was homeschooled by her mom, Kathy, who instilled in her a love of learning and conservative values. She also lived in Japan 10 years, which helped her to understand the uniqueness of the American government structure.

AMANDA TESAREK

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Amanda Tesarek, 21, Best College Speech winner, originally hails from Superior, Wisconsin but has since settled in New York City. As a senior at Columbia University, she studies Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies and is learning to speak Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, and Farsi. She is currently in the process of writing a thesis on the role of dark money in Indian and American elections, which was inspired by her experience interning with the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Amanda is a captain of the Columbia University Mock Trial team, a member of America Reads-a volunteer organization that tutors underprivileged Harlem youth-and a founding member of the Constituting America Youth Advisory Board. After graduation, she hopes to travel to a country where she can practice one of the languages she studies and/or work for a few years before ultimately attending law school.

EMILY KITZMILLER

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Emily Kitzmiller, 18, Best College PSA Winner, grew up in Vernal, Utah. She just completed her first semester at Brigham Young University and is excited to see where her education takes her. Hands-on creativity is her favorite way of expressing herself, especially singing and writing. She hopes to continue learning and finding opportunities to share what she loves.

ISAIAH ROSS & CAMERON GWYNN

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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.

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.