A team of 15 League member judges has selected the winners of LWVMA’s “YOUth Should Vote!” Student Video Contest, part of LWVMA’s election 2016 statewide voter engagement campaign. Over 300 students participated in the contest, and the winning videos were selected from entries submitted from across the state. 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)

Beginning in late summer and leading up to the November election, 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.  At that time, local Leagues will also be encouraged to share the videos via social media and local cable access stations.

The judges also selected ten videos for Honorable Mention recognition, and those will be posted closer to the election:  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 (Lucky Kate); 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); and Nicholas Charde and Owen Schmidt, Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (We the People).

The contest winners will receive awards of $1,000 (first place); $500 (second place); $250 (third place); and $50 (honorable mention). An award ceremony will be take place on Monday, June 6 in the Members’ Lounge at the State House .

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%.

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.