EMILY KEENER

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Best Middle School Song: Emily Keener, 12, has been homeschooled since the 2nd grade. She plays the guitar and piano. She has a passion for music and singing and hopes to have a career as a singer/songwriter. When she’s not performing or practicing, she’s playing softball, learning martial arts or reading. Her favorite school subjects include American and World History. She lives in Wakeman, Ohio with her a younger sister and brother and her parents.

BAILEY GABEL

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Best Middle School Essay: Bailey Gabel, 11, is from LaFayette, Colorado and a ranch girl at heart! She lives on a working ranch with her parents and younger sister. Hobbies include singing, showing livestock in 4-H and competing in Little Britches Rodeo. Her favorite saying is “American by birth and Cowgirl by the grace of God.”

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JEFFREY PISTOR

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Best Poem (grades 3-5): Jeffrey Pistor, 11, is a homeschooled 6th grader from Colleyville, Texas. He is very close with his older brother and younger sister. He has a great love for nature and animals and enjoys monthly campouts with his Boy Scout Troop. He recently achieved 1st Class Rank on his way to Eagle. Jeffrey is an official greeter at his church and he also plays the piano, is studying Jiu-Jitsu, and devotes time to Bible Study Fellowship with his father.

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HOLLIE ELLIOT

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Best Emblem (grades 3-5): Hollie Elliott, 10, is a native of beautiful and busy Bentonville, Arkansas. She enjoys walking nature trails with her parents, her brother, and their dog. She is a 5th grader at RH Barker Middle School, where her favorite subjects are reading, PE, and math. She has fun riding bikes with friends. She loves her church, and is involved in Bible quizzing. Hollie is a patriot, learning a little more every day about the greatness of the USA.

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JESSIE LIZ CLEMENT

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Jessie Liz Clement, 13, Best Middle School Song Winner, is a musically gifted singer-songwriter from Lafayette, Tennessee. She is the youngest of four children and is homeschooled through Classical Conversations’ Challenge program. Self-taught on the guitar, piano, ukulele, and mandolin, Jessie writes songs about life and the world around her. Her debut album, “Hey World,” was released in 2011 and new songs can be heard at www.jessieliz.com. Jessie’s Creator has definitely blessed her with special musical talents and she seeks to honor Him and bless others with the gifts she’s been given. Besides music, Jessie enjoys hunting, arts and crafts, and playing on a volleyball team.

EVELYN HANKS

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Evelyn Hanks, 14, Best Middle School Essay Winner, is a homeschooled student from Garner, NC. Evelyn enjoys reading, creative writing, piano and guitar. She is involved in debate club. Other hobbies include bead work, duct tape crafts, and crochet. Evelyn has one older sister and one younger brother. She is active in her church, where she is a volunteer in the children’s ministry. Evelyn’s favorite subjects at her homeschool co-op are Science and Shakespearean Drama.

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BETHANY COOKSEY

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Bethany Cooksey, 11, Best Poem Winner, Grades 3-5, lived in Japan as the daughter of missionaries until the age of five, when her family moved to beautiful McMinnville, Oregon. She was born in Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu and is the fifth of eight happy homeschooled children. She loves Bible Bee, Antonin Dvorak’s music, reading, singing in the church choir, drawing, playing with her baby brother, cooking, sewing, writing, piano, and cello.

JESSIE LIZ CLEMENT

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Jessie Liz Clement, 14, Best Middle School Song Winner, is a musically gifted singer-songwriter from Lafayette, Tennessee. She is the youngest of four children and is home-schooled through Classical Conversations’ Challenge program. Jessie was honored to be Constituting America’s Best Middle School Song winner in 2012 and, in turn, had the high honor of singing at the SBA List “Campaign for Life Gala” in Washington D.C earlier this year. Self-taught on the guitar, piano, ukulele, and mandolin, Jessie writes songs about life and love from the heart of innocence. Her newest album, “Runaway Adventure” with 13 new songs written by Jessie and produced by Nashville session singer Russell Terrell, was released in August, 2013, and can be found on iTunes or at www.jessieliz.com. Besides music, Jessie enjoys hunting, arts and crafts, and playing on a local varsity volleyball team.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/83873626

TIFFANY CURTIS

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Tiffany Curtis, 15, Best Middle School Essay Winner, resides in Smithville, Ohio. Since Preschool she has gone to Wooster Christian School, and will now go on to Smithville High School. Her favorite subjects are Reading, Art, and History. She served as Student Council President during her 8th grade year at Wooster Christian. Tiffany has one older sister and two supportive and loving parents. Her favorite activities include reading, listening to music, playing with her dog, and spending time with friends. Tiffany hopes to honor and bring praise to God through whatever she is putting her heart into.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/86156650

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ROSALVA CRUZ HERNANDEZ

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Rosalva (Rosie) Cruz Hernandez, 15, Best Middle School Essay Winner, is from Bonita Springs, Florida. Rosie is an eighth grader at Bonita Springs Middle Center for the Arts. As a sixth grader, Rosie received the Take Stock in Children’s Scholarship which will pay for her tuition to any Florida state college. Rosie has attended and been actively involved with New Horizons of Southwest Florida, an afterschool tutoring and mentoring program, since first grade where she also sings in the Super Kids Choir. Through New Horizons, Rosie has participated in several volunteer activities in her community. Rosie is active in her church and is part of the worship team. Rosie has been on the A/B Honor Roll every semester in middle school. After graduating from high school, Rosie would like to attend Florida Gulf Coast University and pursue a career as a social worker. Rosie wants to be able to help children who have suffered abuse.

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KIRK TAYLOR, CALBEB THOMAS, JONATHAN FRAZIER

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Jonathan Frazier loves to make music and is a performing rapper trying to become famous. He loves history so it is very easy for him to make a song about it. He is very happy that he won and looks forward to winning again. Caleb Theophilus Thomas was born on October 21st, 2000 to Tennis Thomas I and Earlisa Spencer-Thomas. He is a native of Dallas, Texas and currently attends Booker T Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. The youngest of five brothers, he was always influenced by their generation of hip-hop culture which sparked his interest in the hip-hop genre. By the time he was in school he was getting in and out of trouble and felt like no one understood him except the bad crowd he hung out with and the rap music that they would listen too. When his parents got divorced he would begin to express his feelings on paper in short stories, then poems, then eventually rhymes. During his first year of middle school he participated in the Hip-Hop club which helped him hone his craft and value the culture as well as the music. In his 7th grade year he wrote a poem titled “Threat Since Birth” which was about the struggles of being a black man. By his 8th grade year he found his own style and mastered his flow and is now the same Caleb (stage name Roccy Montana) that you see today. Kirk D. Taylor,14, started his life of music in kindergarten, performing at P.T.M. meetings for school. Soon after he decided that his life would be dedicated to changing the world through music. The rest of elementary school he used his voice to make himself known, but not just musically. He was a finalist in the Gardeer Oratorical contest in 2010 speaking on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also learned to play piano in 5th grade. He achieved 1st chair in the Region 20 All Region Choir both 7th and 8th grade year, He has sung for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and now he plays bass guitar. He is now learning how to play acoustics guitar and once he does he’ll just have to find himself another goal.

LEAH RENNER

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Leah Renner, 14, Best Middle School Essay Winner, has grown up in the south suburbs of Chicago. She currently lives in Worth, Illinois where she is home schooled. Leah enjoys basketball, running, and writing for her blog. Leah participates in her church youth group and various activities through her homeschool cooperative. After finishing high school, she anticipates mission work and possibly a career in writing or voiceover.

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ANTHONY BESHIRS

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Anthony Beshirs is currently a freshman at Garland High School who learned about Constituting America’s “We The Future” contest when Janine Turner came to his middle school to speak. Anthony is inspired by the way the Constitution helps us in our every day lives. He says he learned from entering the contest that “great things can come if you put in enough time and effort.” Anthony is the recipient of an award for keeping his GPA at 3.5 or higher and is a full IB student. Anthony enjoys playing the tuba in his high school band, exercising and playing video games in his spare time and aspires to become a chemical engineer and help people through his findings.

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SONYA HELMS

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My name is Sonya Helms. I am 14 years old. I am from Cortland NY and I live on a small farm inside Cortland. I volunteer as a Jr. Member at our local fair board committee, and during the summer show my cattle and livestock at local county fairs. I play alto saxophone and I am a type one diabetic.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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