Hello, I’m Audrey! I am currently going to school to do something in the field of psychology. In my free time I love to write music and explore the great outdoors!


Dorothy McCormick is a high school junior from Delaware. She began learning piano at age four and now plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as ukulele along with taking vocal lessons. Despite all this musical training, she originally wanted to make her mark on the world through Medicine or Biochemistry. However, after discovering what a tremendous impact music can make, she decided to pursue a career in songwriting. Outside of musical pursuits, she enjoys drawing and painting as well as participating in Speech and Debate. She competed as a quarterfinalist in the 2019 American Legion National Oratorical contest and finished 4th at the National level in the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest. Although she enjoyed expressing her passion for government in these events, she was particularly excited to combine it with her love of music for the We The Future contest. At the end of 2019, she began releasing her original music under the artist name “Darthy” and hopes to attend Belmont University as a Songwriting major.

Hannah is a 16-year-old Junior at Cedar Hill High School. She pursues her academic goals aggressively and currently boasts a #2 ranking in her class with rigorous Advanced Placement courses. She is actively involved in National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars. Outside of academics, Hannah spends her time perfecting her craft in dance and theater arts. She is currently Junior Lieutenant for the award-winning Cedar Hill Highsteppers drill team and also trains and performs with NG Professional Dance Company. Her most notable accomplishments are dancing with the American Drill Select Team to Osaka, Japan to showcase for the international Drill team competition. She also models professionally for Rebel Athletics! Hannah is also a very responsible big sister in a military family of 5 siblings. With her dad typically deployed, she helps her mom with her 3 younger siblings with her big sister studying performing arts in her sophomore year at AMDA LA college. Hannah is so excited to be honored with this award and looks forward to continuing her pursuit of becoming an entertainer in the film, dance and arts industry!

Isabella Cring is a sophomore at Florida State University studying Sociology and Communications. In her free time, she’s involved in the radio station on campus (WVFS Tallahassee) working as the Assignments Editor and a DJ. She also works on campus as an RA. She loves songwriting on her trusty ukulele and can’t wait to record her winning song this spring.

Thanks Constituting America!

More widely known as Jake the Signer on the internet, Jacob VanDerwerken is a sign language innovator focused on sharing goodness through his hands. Over the past few years, Jacob has created and shared videos in sign language on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram which have reached millions of people all around the world.

Jacob was raised in Tooele, Utah. After graduating high school, he served a two-year volunteer mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Arizona. Jacob is currently attending Brigham Young University with his wife Emily. He is an active participant and leader in the BYU Men’s Chorus, which is the largest male collegiate choir in the nation. Jacob is studying Advertising with a minor in Family Life and an emphasis in American Sign Language.

Emily VanDerwerken, 20, spends her time solving problems with creative caution. From throwing ceramics on a potter’s wheel to designing and sewing her own wedding dress, Emily loves using her hands to create. 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. Above anything, Emily loves to make connections with people. Her goal is to share genuine emotion through her creative work now and throughout her life.

Emily is the 2017 Best College Song winner and the 2016 Best College PSA winner. She grew up in the quiet town of Vernal, Utah, but she now lives in Provo, Utah with her husband Jacob. Emily is a junior at Brigham Young University where she is pursuing an undergrad degree in Advertising with a minor in Family Life.

 

 

Madeline Peltzer is from Phoenix, Arizona and the eldest of three daughters. She is a sophomore at Hillsdale College in Michigan where she is majoring in politics and minoring in economics and journalism. A life-long political junkie, she interned on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s reelection campaign over the past summer and for her state’s policy and legislative council in addition to working for Americans for Prosperity on their grassroots activism team. On campus, she is a reporter for the Hillsdale Collegian, the founder and president of the Hillsdale chapter of Young Women for America (a faith-based policy club that promotes a Biblical approach to the big issues of the day), and a representative on Hillsdale’s student government. She also volunteers as a cast member for the Liberty Princess Company for which she portrays Disney characters at local community events and fundraisers for underprivileged children. Madeline has won eight national essay contests including Constituting America’s high school essay contest in 2015, was First Runner-Up at Arizona’s Distinguished Young Women scholarship competition (formerly America’s Junior Miss), is a National Merit Commended Scholar, and was a member of the National Homeschool Honor Society all four years of high school. She hopes to pursue law school, intern for a Washington, D.C. think tank, and work in policy analysis, punditry, journalism, or public office.  Madeline is an active member of her church, enjoys classical piano, figure skating, ballet and jazz dance, and considers herself a Disneyland enthusiast.

 

Watch Madeline discuss her winning work, as well as her experiences with Constituting America, here!

Tova Love Kaplan, 15, currently serves as the National Youth Director for Constituting America and is a two-time winner of the nonprofit’s “We the Future” contest. Her work with Constituting America has lead to incredible experiences at the Department of Education, White House, the United States Capitol, and Fortune 500 companies. Tova is heavily involved in academics, extracurriculars, and social justice causes as a member of the National Junior Honor Society, News Editor for the school newspaper, Executive Board member for her school’s Best Buddies International chapter, and a founder of Bake Sale for Justice’s first student chapter. This year, Tova introduced Chicago’s Mayor and Chicago Public Schools CEO at the back-to-school rally for the city’s 500 principals and also delivered opening remarks to welcome Anne Frank’s stepsister Eva Schloss to Chicago. Tova is a passionate public speaker interviewed frequently by media. She has been spotlighted in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, CBS2 Chicago, Chicago Magazine, Splash Magazines Worldwide, FOX4’s Good Day Dallas, and Chicago Parent for their 2018 year-end feature on kids in Chicago making the world a better place. Tova is a professional actor with featured roles at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mercury Theater Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Paramount Theatre. Her commercial work includes videos and commercials for Second City Networks, Onion Productions, and the Wisconsin Dells tourism board.

Hello! My name is Wyatt Hensley. I am in 8th grade and live in Joplin, MO My favorite subject is American History. Acting is my passion. I want to be a director of films when I finish college. I am also involved with my church and my Boy Scout troop. One of my closest friends is my brother Jonah (also in the video) who shares my interests except for acting. We are really excited to be a part of Constituting America!

Chris Eshbaugh is a 17 year old from Temple, Texas, and is a part of band and theatre at his school. He has participated in at least 30 theatre productions in his life, and is a devoted member of the drum line in his high school’s marching band. His musical experiences in band and theatre have given him both instrumental and vocal talents, which have led to his passion for creating his own music. Chris plays the piano, drums, ukulele, and other various percussion instruments. With the ambition to continue writing more songs, he plans to attend Texas Tech University, with the ultimate dream to continue making music and being able to perform it live someday for everyone to hear.

Land of Dreams – By Norm Cady & Jeff Lewis

Norm Cady

I am writing to introduce myself, my music and my love of country. My home is in a small community in western New York. Although I have worked most of my life as a contractor, I have also spent most of my life as a musician and songwriter. I hope my music will be an inspiration to all Americans.

Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis, 41, is from Sinclairville, NY.  For the past twenty years, Jeff has been playing live shows and recording in his studio.  He spent many years traveling around performing as an opening act for some of country music’s finest, sharing the stage with the likes of George Jones, Diamond Rio, Patty Loveless, Toby Keith, Neil McCoy, Brad Paisley, Emerson Drive, Cindy Thompson, Ty Herndon, Collin Ray, Steve Azar and Lonestar.   His passion for music still runs deep but has had to take a side seat to raising his children and running his construction company.  After many years of Jeff being out of the music business, longtime friend Norm Cady came to Jeff with his incredible song, Land of Dreams.  Norm has spent his life writing great songs but this one is different.  Norm, Jeff, Antony Brown and Rich Alcorn hit the studio and out came the uplifting patriotic hit Land of Dreams.

Dakare C. Chatman was born on August 17th and is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. Dakare now resides in Lenoir, North Carolina, 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.

Kevin McCraney, 28, from Seattle, Washington. Kevin has experimented with narrative and media since he was young. Ever the consummate creator, he gained experience working with video and music by producing material for school projects and his personal travel blog. After traveling the world and documenting his adventures, he is currently attending the MS in Information Program at the University of Washington. In the future, he hopes to work in government, advocating for laws that embolden the ethical production and use of technology.

Wesley Castillo is a 17 year old student living in Inwood, WV. He is currently on his senior year at Musselman High School. In addition to his regular classes, he attends a program at James Rumsey Technical Institute where he studies Web Development & Gaming. Outside of his classes he likes to record videos, play on his Xbox, & serve at his church. Wesley also enjoys watching political debates and commentaries and considers Civics to be his favorite non-technical class.

Based in Gallatin, TN, 17 year old Cole Ritter is a talented musician who started violin lessons at age 3. A skilled musician, he plays a wide variety of stringed instruments, writes music, and sings. He also is versatile in musical genres with influences from classical, jazz, blues, country, bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, and Indie. Cole plans to pursue a degree in commercial music in college, hopefully followed by a successful career as a writer, performer and studio musician.

Katherine Plotz, 17, is from Chehalis, Washington, but currently resides in Tokyo and is in the 12th grade at The American School in Japan. Her passion for piano started at the age of three, and has influenced her fascination with mathematics, which she hopes to continue studying in college. She is in her school’s jazz band, and is president of the Space Club. She contributes to her community through various types of service, and leads her church’s praise team.

https://youtu.be/gBYwICr ZYis

 

My name is Joshua Landgraf and I am 11 years old and 6th grade student at Eubanks Intermediate School in Southlake, Texas.
My interests include writing graphic novels, sketching and drawing 3-dimensional art, playing tennis, playing with my three siblings and I have a voracious appetite for reading, especially mythology of all types. I enjoy all of my classes, especially, math and history. Also, I enjoy watching shows like Tiny House and I would like to be an architect, engineer or a lawyer.

 

 

My name is Taylor Landgraf and I am 11 years old and a 6th grade student at Eubanks Intermediate School in Southlake, Texas. My interests include reading, cooking, and playing competitive tennis tournaments and with my three siblings. I really enjoy serving as an Ambassador for my school where I greet students new to our school, show them around and introduce them to new friends. I enjoy all of my classes and am passionate about helping others including people who have special needs or who are sick. I will pursue a career that involves helping others including being a teacher or a nurse.

 

My name is Gabriella Tommasi, and I am 11 years old. I have had a passion for music since I can remember!  I love playing electric guitar most of all, but also play piano, drums and just this year, I have begun to play the trombone in the Eubanks Intermediate School band. I do more than just jam, I also love to swim, paint, and spend time with my friends.  I have a younger brother and sister, Maximillian and Angelica, and we are very close. Last, but certainly not least, I am blessed with the most amazing parents who continue to support and encourage me throughout my journey. God Bless.

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 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.

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, 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, 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 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.

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, 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, 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.

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.

Gayle Poole, Best Short Film Winner, Adult Category, was born in Houston, Texas. Gayle is the mom to four adult children and the Mamie to three wonderful grandkids. She works with the primary children’s organization in her church and is taking sign language classes at the local junior college. She loves reading history, doing photo collage art, gardening, and dancing with her husband of 34 years. She is a happy Texan and an appreciative American!

Nathan Poole, 25, Best Short Film Winner, Adult Category, is studying biology at the University of Texas at Tyler. He plans on studying genetics and then ultimately attending medical school. He is participating in a study of turtle and leech relationships, and is beginning to conduct a research project on salamander regeneration. He also spends time shadowing physicians in preparation for future schooling. He is involved in the community through church service projects and volunteering at the local zoo. He and his new wife teach a youth Sunday School class together. They enjoy traveling, camping, and enjoying the outdoors any chance they get.

Interview: https://vimeo.com/87975377

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, 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, 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, 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, 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

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, 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 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, 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

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

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, 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.

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.

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, 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, 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, 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, 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.

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, 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.

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, 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, 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.

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, 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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.”

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.

Since 2004, Matt Fitzgibbons has been writing non-partisan music that celebrates America’s founding principles. His goal is to inspire people to think, learn and talk about individual liberty.

Fitzgibbons has released four albums which have received many honors including two ASCAPlus awards, a song featured in a documentary on the Right to Bear Arms, a second place award in an Irish songwriting contest, and an Honorable mention in the 2016 SongDoor International Songwriting Competition, among others. With his music, videos, writing and hundreds of interviews across the country and abroad, Fitzgibbons has reached millions of people with his positive message. For more information, music, videos, show dates and booking, Matt Fitzgibbons’ website is PatriotMusic.com

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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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.

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