The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Application for the 22nd Annual Awards
for Youth in Foster Care
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$11,000 in prizes for 10 winners

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. Ten young people will be awarded prize money at a ceremony in spring 2019. 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 1999 or later. People born before 1999 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. (A very short essay won't win either.)

Essay #1:For many people nowadays, including youth in care and those who have aged out, “family” extends beyond the traditional mom, dad, and child to “chosen families.” Chosen families are made up of friends, mentors, relatives, and anyone else you count on. Who is your chosen family? Who would you like it to be? How do you care for each other?

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 2, 2020
Your complete entry, including the entry form, two essays, and adult recommendation letter, must be submitted by March 2, 2020

See the flyer and application [pdf]

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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