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19th Annual Awards for Youth In Foster Care
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5 Grand Prizes of $1,000 each
10 Additional Prizes: $500 - $700

Youth Communication sponsors this award to promote a more positive image of New York City foster youth among agency staff, youth workers, and the general public. Fifteen young people will be awarded prize money at a ceremony in spring, 2017. Five Grand Prize winners will receive $1,000 each, and 10 additional winners will receive prizes of $500 to $700 each. The prize money can be spent however the winner likes, although it is recommended that it be spent on education-related activities.

Who Can Nominate a Young Person: Entrants can be nominated by any adult (including teachers, mentors, agency staff, youth workers, religious leaders, foster parents, biological parents). The adult must write a letter of recommendation for the young person. Adults should nominate young people who have shown resilience, helped others, and achieved personal and academic success. Each nominator may nominate one young person.

Who Is Eligible to Be Nominated: Any current or former foster youth in the New York City foster care system who was born in 1996 or later. People born before 1996 are not eligible.

Grand Prize winners from previous years are not eligible. Other previous winners may apply.

How the winners will be selected: A judging committee will read all entries and choose the winners. The decision of the judges is final.

You must write two essays. The first essay must be fewer than 1,000 words. The second essay must be fewer than 500 words. If your essays are too long it will count against you.

Essay #1: Write about a time you connected with someone who at first seemed really different from you. (It could be a peer or an adult, anyone you've gotten close to.) Who was this person and how were you two different from each other? Did you have stereotypes or fears about the person at first? If so, how did you overcome those to get close? What did you learn about yourself and the other person?

Essay #2: Describe a time when you did something that you felt made a positive impact on someone else. Why was it important to the person you helped? To you? (This can include helping siblings, volunteering, or any other time when you went out of your way to help someone else.)

Hint: A good essay will include a detailed description of your experience and, most important, reflection on how the experience changed your thinking or inspired you.

Deadline: March 3, 2017
Your complete entry, including the entry form, two essays, and adult recommendation letter, must be submitted by March 3, 2017

All entries become property of Youth Communication. Winning essays will be edited for brevity and clarity and printed in the program.
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NOTE: (fields marked by an asterisk* are required)
Information About the Young Person Being Nominated:


Information About the Adult Making the Nomination:

How Do You Know the Young Person You’re Nominating?
(Note: Each young person must be nominated by an adult.)
Note to nominators: Do not write, rewrite, or type the essay for your nominee. Feel free to read a draft and ask them questions about their ideas, or make general suggestions, but do not do any of the writing for them. The essay must be the work of the young person. (We’re not looking for a perfectly written essay. While we encourage the young person to get help with proofreading, spelling, and other minor mistakes, we will give much more weight to the ideas presented than to perfect spelling and grammar.) We can tell when a young person’s essay has been reworked or written by an adult, and that will disqualify it.
Call Virginia Vitzthum at 212-279-0708, ext. 112.

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