May 20, 2016 / Boston, MA – The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) today announced the winners of its “YOUth Should Vote!” Student Video Contest, part of LWVMA’s election 2016 statewide voter engagement campaign.
An award ceremony to honor the winners will be held in the House of Representatives Members’ Lounge (3rd floor) at the Massachusetts State House in Boston at 11 a.m. on June 6, 2016.
The winners are:
First Place: Matthew Walak and Kevin Zheng, Natick High School (The Reminder Machine)
Second Place: Makena Binker-Cosen and TJ Mukundan, Brookline High School (Big Dreams)
Third Place: Marko Deperalta and Allen Zhou, Bedford High School, (Our Right)
Joshua Perlmutter and Kent Perlmutter, Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, Holliston (A Note to Vote);
Kyle Schoenberg, The Bromfield School, Harvard (Dreams);
Justin Roy, Masconomet Regional High School, Middleton (Go Vote);
Samantha Yates, Ann Hasz, Nicole Fiske, Emily Imbrogna, Ben Church, Kevin Burke, Littleton High School (Have a Voice);
Gabe Mangrum, Malachi Waller, Trey Carter, CJ Gallagher, Obed Konadu, Aaron Adu, and Zane Freeman, Doherty Memorial High School, Worcester (I Can Pick);
Allie Smith, Lydia Flaherty, and Haley Donovan, Millis High School ();
Karine Santos, Gabriel Nieves, Edward Rivera, Symphony Dunn, Tehjia Kerr, Reno Joseph, Javon Robinson, and Laporsha Hickson, Madison Park High School, Boston (Stop Complaining, Vote);
Rachel Schultze, Natick High School (The Power of Voting);
John Stanley, Lucas Quintero, and Amelia Murray, Hingham High School (Toothpaste);
Nicholas Charde and Owen Schmidt, Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (We the People).
To help mobilize the youth vote, the League invited Massachusetts high school students to create 30-second public service announcements encouraging young adults to register to vote and turn out at the polls. Youth turnout in elections routinely lags behind turnout from other age groups; in the 2012 presidential election, voter turnout for Massachusetts citizens between the ages of 18 and 29 was 43.8%, while turnout for Massachusetts citizens 30 and older was 71.7%.
LWVMA will widely distribute and publicize the winning videos and others from the contest as part of a statewide youth get-out-the-vote campaign beginning in late summer and leading up to the November election.
Over 300 students participated in the contest, and the winning videos were selected from entries submitted from across the state. The Judging Committee selected the winning videos based on their clear and compelling messages, memorable content and delivery, and creativity. The winners will receive awards of $1,000 (first place); $500 (second place); $250 (third place); and $50 (honorable mention).
“We were thrilled to receive so many very creative and powerful videos,” said LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler. “There is no doubt that the winning entries will help inspire young people to participate In the November election and help mobilize the youth vote.”
“We are proud of all of the young people who shared their visions and messages through this contest,” said Jean Cherdack, president of LWVMA. “And we are proud that the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts provided them with a platform to make their voices heard.”
The contest was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Citizen Education Fund, which supports programs designed to encourage the active and informed participation of citizens in democracy and increase understanding of public policy issues.
Support for this program was provided by the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation and the Salem Five Charitable Foundation.