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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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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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.
Read Poem Here.
Best Poem (grades K-2): Myra Vicchrilli, 8, was born in Aurora, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, and now lives in Wiggins, Colorado. She loves animals. Myra has a horse named Tippsy; two dogs, Dice and Duke; and six cats named Kelsey, Rummy, Sasha, Clide, Molly and Macey. She has a two-year-old sister named Kellie that she adores, and loves to go to the horse races where her daddy is a jockey.
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Best Artwork (grades K-2): Emma Harrison, 8, lives in Corinth, Texas with her parents, older sister Abbey, and two cats. Emma is an outgoing, friendly brown haired, brown eyed, left-handed third grader. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, swimming, camping, sailing, drawing, taking piano lessons, and attending church. Emma is proud of the official Texas State Cupcake, Butter Pecan, because it was created by her classmate’s mom. Emma loves Jesus and has a heart as big as Texas!
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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.
View Emblem Here.