AMBER HODGE

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Amber Hodge, 19, is a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. She loves making music. She makes it electronically composed from the piano. Another passion of Amber’s is animals: She volunteers at an animal shelter and is studying to become a veterinarian. Amber is ready to take advantage of all America has to offer on her road to becoming a veterinarian and thereafter. She loves hanging out with her friends and going to the beach in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

DANIELLE RAGIN

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Best High School PSA: Danielle Ragin, 16, born on Constitution Day, is a junior attending high school in Plainview, New York. She is active in and out of school as a member of many clubs and plays varsity soccer and lacrosse for her high school and town. Civic minded, Dani participates in many community service and charitable events. Most recently, she created an organization called “Be the Change” to help people in homeless shelters in New York City.

SPENCER KOLSSAK

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Best High School Short Film: Spencer Kolssak, 15, is a homeschooled sophomore who lives in Winnetka, Illinois with his mom, dad, and three brothers. Spencer is actively involved in his Boy Scout troop, writes science fiction, and loves to make films. He also has a new interest in speech and debate. He enjoys studying the history of America and God’s role in the founding of this nation.

KORI CASWELL

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Best High School Song: Kori Caswell, 17, is from Hannibal, Missouri, made famous in the writings of Mark Twain. She is a senior at Hannibal High School where she is active in the music department and drum major of the marching band. Kori is well known in her community for her work with literacy, history, the arts council and her church. She is very proud of her accomplishments as a bassist for the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. Kori plans on attending Belmont University in Nashville next fall.

HANNAH LEFFINGWELL

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Best High School Essay: Hannah Leffingwell, 17, lives in Centennial, Colorado. Next year, she will pursue her intellectual interests at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she plans to double major in English and French. She enjoys cooking, sewing, writing, and spending time with her family and friends. Hannah hopes to become a novelist after graduating from college.

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JACOB SCHLIESMAN

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Jacob Schliesman, 18, Best High School PSA Winner, is beginning his freshman year at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, studying Media Arts and Game Development. Jacob was homeschooled in Kenosha, WI for over ten years, and took private drawing and animation lessons for about six years. He enjoys comic books, roleplaying games, and working on animation. Jacob hopes to one day work for a national gaming company.

CHASITY CAGLE

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Chasity Cagle, 17, Best High School Short Film Winner, is a native of Valdosta, Georgia. She attends Lowndes High School and presides over the SkillsUSA chapter where she competes in video production. Chasity is also involved in the community through Moody Air Force Base Youth Programs, a center for military teens. She hopes to become a speech pathologist and continue her video editing skills in college.

COLTON HINDERLITER

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Colton Hinderliter, 16, Best High School Short Film Winner, lives in Marietta, Georgia and attends Keystone National Online High School. He is active in the arts of all sorts, from performing on stage to writing screenplays and poetry. He is an intern at the historic Earl Smith Strand Theatre working in arts administration. He also volunteers his time at his old elementary and middle schools’ drama clubs. Colton is very happy to combine his love of history and filmmaking in his first film.

ANNIE NIRSCHEL

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Annie Nirschel, 17, Best High School Song Winner, is a senior at the Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering in Stamford, Connecticut. Her interests include film production, art, and musical composition. She plays the piano, guitar, ukulele and banjo. Annie has been singing for years; her first performance was the National Anthem at a Bridgeport Bluefish minor league baseball game in Connecticut when she was 7. She sang in front of 15,000 people at Battery Park in Manhattan for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and for over a million people at the 2011 “Salute to Israel” parade, also in Manhattan. Annie has done voice over work for Blue Jean Teddy and College Board.org. For the past two years she has worked as a student reporter for “ItsRelevant.com” an online local news service in Stamford, Connecticut. Annie lives at home with her parents, brothers, two sisters and three yappy dogs.

BROOKE WADE

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Brooke Wade, 17, Best High School Essay Winner, is a homeschooled senior from Tampa, Florida. She has a passion for American providential history and the Constitution and aspires to be a constitutional lawyer. Over the past two years, she has actively participated in moot court competitions, arguing 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendment issues and achieving Best Petitioner Oralist and Semifinalist at the Washington College of Law competition. She participates in speech and debate at the national level, placing and achieving three National titles in Extemporaneous and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Brooke loves reading books on political theory and history.

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NICOLE REED

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Nicole Reed, 17, Best High School PSA Winner, is from Oak Lawn, Illinois and is a senior attending Harold L. Richards High School. She is currently involved in her school and community in many ways. She is Class President, a varsity cheerleader, a leader in her school Bible club, a member of the senior leadership program, and a member of the Peer Mediation club – as well as being involved in many volunteering organizations such as the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. Also, she volunteer coaches a Jr. High competitive cheerleading team. Nicole had a lot of fun creating the PSA, and feels so blessed to be awarded this opportunity. She greatly enjoyed learning and informing others about the Constitution and, in the future, hopes to study corporate law.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/83916688

COLTON HINDERLITER

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Colton Hinderliter, 17, Best High School PSA Winner, lives in Marietta, GA and is currently a senior at Keystone National High School. Colton won last year’s Constituting America We the People 9.17 Contest in the Best High School Short Film category. Colton is actively involved in the arts in his community and is a professional dancer with the Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre. Colton will continue his love of dance in the future as he is currently applying to colleges across the Southern United States as a Dance major.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/81257254

JOSEF JUHNKE

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Josef Junek, (pronounced: YOU-nek), 15, Best High School Short Film Winner, currently lives in Rosenberg, Texas, U.S.A., North America, Planet Earth, with his parents, three sisters, one brother, numerous pets, and the occasional door-to-door vacuum salesman. He is home-schooled, which allows him and his brother plenty of time to experiment with making other short films. In addition to being a filmmaker, Josef is also a professional clown, unprofessional cartoonist, and has written one unpublished novel. He hopes to become a professional filmmaker someday, though would prefer not to work on anymore projects which require him to stand upside-down in a trashcan.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/86372714

KORY SHORE (2013 WINNERS)

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Kory Shore, 16, Best High School Song Winner, hails from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He’s been musical his entire life — a drummer at 3-years old, piano and singing at 6, and composing at 12. His first music video, “Crying for America” went viral and was featured on several national news outlets. He’s passionate about freedom and his music and often will weave Constitutional themes into his lyrics. Currently, he’s recording a number of new songs, and just released his latest music video, “Don’t Be Afraid (to Cry)” on YouTube, a song written in memory of one of his classmates who was killed tragically in a car accident a few days before school ended. Kory attends Episcopal Academy. He’s a serious wrestler, runner, and snowboarder. His website is koryshore.com.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/83306673

CAROLINE CLAUSON

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Caroline Clauson, 16, Best High School Essay Winner, is a resident of Xenia, Ohio and is a student at Xenia Christian School. She has studied classical violin for seven years and enjoys playing fiddle music on her violin and mandolin. Caroline runs track and cross-country and participates in choir and orchestra. This semester she is being home-schooled while her family lives in Washington, D.C. where her father is temporarily working. Caroline is thinking of pursuing a career in journalism following high school.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/87252539

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LAURA LEIGH HICKS

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Laura Leigh Hicks, 18, Best High School PSA Winner, is a native of Steens, Mississippi. She is a home educated student and serves as president of her homeschool group’s chapter of the Eta Sigma Alpha Honor Society. Laura Leigh looks forward to attending Mississippi State University next fall (where she was recently accepted into the Shackouls Honors College), majoring in art with an emphasis in graphic design.

MELISSA, 17 & KELLY WOODFORD, 15

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Melissa Woodford, 17, and Kelly Woodford, 15, Best High School PSA Winners, are sisters who live in New City, New York and homeschooled. They both love singing for the Lord and are actively involved in a Christian Ministry Chorale that will be touring in Hungary next spring. In addition, Melissa and Kelly both take pleasure in public speaking, having competed at the National level in persuasive speaking and duo interpretation in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association. They are also both founders of their local homeschool Media Club, where they create and edit news videos about neighboring social events. With a love for acting and dancing, the girls are also members in Christian Youth Theatre and have won first place singing and dancing at New York’s Dutchess County Fair. Melissa is considering a degree in communications, and Kelly hopes to maybe become a writer or a teacher, but they are both optimistic about wherever God leads them in the near future.

FRANK BOUDON

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Frank Boudon, 17, Best High School PSA Winner, is a senior at Troy High School in Troy, Michigan. He is an avid filmmaker, working on productions for his school district’s cable crew as well as independent projects. Frank’s other interests include politics and service; he is president of his school’s Model United Nations delegation and National Honor Society, and has worked on several political campaigns. After high school, he plans to study business and politics at the University of Michigan, possibly leading to a career in law. Frank also hopes to continually improve his video production skills as film will always be, at the very least, a hobby.

LANEY KRAUS-TADDEO (2014 WINNER)

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Laney Kraus-Taddeo, 17, Best High School Short Film Winner, lives in Park Ridge, Illinois, and is currently a senior at Maine South High School. She has worked as a professional actress since the age of nine, appearing in both live theater productions and short films. In high school she discovered a love of video and film production and has written, conceptualized, shot, directed and edited numerous short films, and has also directed live sports broadcasts and performing arts presentations. Proud to be this year’s short film winner, Laney is also an award-winning writer and editor with her high school newspaper, is the Boys Varsity Basketball video coordinator, and is active in her community. She will be attending college in the Fall of 2015 and plans on pursuing a double major in film production and theater

KORY SHORE

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Kory Shore, 17, Best High School Song Winner, hails from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He is a singer, songwriter and gifted musician with talent and charisma. Kory began playing drums at age 3. (See the video.), break dancing at 4, piano at 6, singing at 8, and started writing music at age 12. He’s now 16 and ready for the world to hear his uniquely mature point of view as expressed through his music. He’s currently being produced by Top 10 Producer, Kurt Shore. His first music video, “Crying for America” garnered national attention striking some controversy with its patriotic theme, and was interviewed on news outlets around the country. Stay tuned and subscribe to hear more. Kory is a runner and snowboarder. Hobbies include airsoft, photography, and of course, video games.

SOPHIA MAGGIO

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Sophia Maggio, 16, Best High School Essay Winner, is a resident of Everett, Washington, and a student at the Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA). She has played select soccer for seven years and is a captain of her high school cross country team. She loves art and spends most of her free time drawing, reading, and writing. Sophia is the oldest of four children and owns several pets, including a cat and two dogs. She is the co-president of her high school community service club, and enjoys doing volunteer activities with animals, kids, and the elderly. While Sophia has not yet decided what career path she will pursue in college, she has considered becoming a clinical anaplastologist and a medical illustrator.

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ABDUL REID & JANAYE MASTERS

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Abdul was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Douglasville, Georgia, a small town outside of Atlanta, in 2010. Abdul has been working on music ever since he was 11 years old. HeI became interested in music because his older brothers were doing it and he wanted to be just like them. Abdul started producing music seriously when he was 14 and loved it ever since. He plans on attending The Art Institute of Atlanta after he graduates to continue his career in audio engineering and hopefully become an established music producer.

Janaye, 17, is a senior at Chapel Hill High School and will be attending Kennesaw State University in the Fall 2016 as a Marketing major. She has participated in Chorus for 8 years, starred in musicals and has been paid to sing at a wedding. Janaye plans to keep music in her life after college as a vocal coach for young students.

DARBY AFFORD

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Darby Ufford, 17, Best High School PSA Winner, is a native of Richland, Washington, and is currently a senior at Hanford High School. In middle school, she found inspiration in photography and began taking photos of everything from urban landmarks to rural sceneries. She is an active member of her community and enjoys volunteering. In fall of 2016 she plans on attending college and double-majoring in political science and economics. Darby aspires to have a career in government or law in the future.

MADELINE PELTZER

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Madeline Peltzer, 17, is from Phoenix, Arizona. She is the oldest of three girls and has been homeschooled all her life. Madeline has been involved in politics since she was in a stroller attending district meetings and rallies with her parents. She is a longtime volunteer with her state’s family-policy and legislative council and has worked on numerous political campaigns. She is an alumna of Patriot Academy, TeenPact Leadership Schools, and the Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School. In 2012 and 2014, she was blessed to win first place in Stossel in the Classroom’s national essay contest, a project of Fox Business News’ John Stossel, and was featured twice on his television program in New York City. The experience sparked an interest in free-market economics, and she has since become involved with organizations like the Mercatus Center, the Institute for Humane Studies, and Americans for Prosperity. In addition to studying classical piano for the past nine years, Madeline enjoys competitive figure skating, classical ballet, and jazz dance. She volunteers with her homeschool honor society, helps teach ballet classes to children with Down syndrome, and has assisted in teaching figure skating to students of all ages. In addition to church, she and her family are active with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). Madeline is still deciding upon a specific college and major, but she hopes to pursue her interests in classical liberal arts, government, history, and economics as well as piano and dance.

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KATIE CROSBY

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Katie Crosby – Best High School Short Film Short Film Title: “Forthcoming Life in America” Minnesota Katie Crosby, 15, Winner of High School Short Film Contest, is from Ramsey, Minnesota. She attends PACT Charter School and is a sophomore. Some of Katie’s passions include photography and theatre. She discovered her love for theatre through her school’s performing arts program her freshman year. Her talents for acting have contributed in many productions such as Cheaper by the Dozen, the Frog Princess, and Once Upon a Shoe. Katie has two lab-pit bull mixes named Jack and Klue. Dogs have always been a part of her family and they always will be. Her personality is one of a kind. Katie is outgoing, creative, and has a drive for her passions. Katie is grateful for all of her family and friend’s support in pursuing her love for theatre and could not do it without them.

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.

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.

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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

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Grace, 18, is a senior at Rutherford B. Hayes High School and will be attending Case Western Reserve University in the fall to major in Aerospace Engineering. She is very involved in her school, such as with National Honor Society, International Thespian Society, and Tri-M Music Honor Society. She is excited to continue involvement in the community with the transition into college.

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.

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