Dakare C. Chatman was born on August 17th and is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. Dakare now resides in Lenoir, North Carolina, where he attends the Caldwell Early College, and is in the ninth grade. Dakare is a strong supporter of the fine arts and has appeared in many play productions. Some of his many roles include Ollie in “Yes Virginia,” Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol,” Prince Chufa Chulalongkorn in “ The King and I,” Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” and Seaweed J. Stubbs in “Hairspray.” Dakare also plays the trumpet and alto saxophone and loves singing. Dakare has been public speaking/ acting since he was able to talk. Dakare’s life quote is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Dakare wants to attend UNC Chapel Hill and major in Theater Performing Arts. Dakare would like to thank the Constituting America staff for this opportunity and for their hard work and dedication in educating our country to learn the constitution.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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.
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, 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.
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.
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!
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, 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