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NEW YORK, April 23rd, 2019 - The Christophers announced its three top prize winners, in addition to six honorable mentions, today in their Twenty-Ninth Annual Poster Contest for High School Students.      


            Every year, students – grades 9 through 12 – are invited to create a poster that visually interprets the timeless theme, “You Can Make a Difference.” This year’s contest drew close to 1,000 entries from high schools all across the United States. The far-reaching impact generated by one person performing one small but heartfelt act of generosity was epitomized to great effect in this year’s contest. As always, students employed a wide range of media in their submissions, from personalized photographs to remarkable hand-drawn or painted sketches.


            The first prize was awarded to Logan Hoyt, a senior at Croswell Lexington High School in Croswell, MI. Logan’s stunningly detailed, hand-painted canvas illustrates a simple but poignant nature scene. A young girl dressed in jeans and a T-shirt kneels in the middle of a grassy field, gently patting dirt around three, freshly blooming flowers with a pink, gloved hand. Written above this beautiful landscape in multi-colored print is the phrase, “You Can Make a Difference.”


            The second prize winning poster features a colorful picture collage of Pennsylvania senior Oksana Specht’s two consecutive mission trips to Kenya in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Approximately a dozen photographs frame a painted, digitally copied picture created by Oksana herself. This particular picture depicts a little Kenyan girl, with a white heart drawn prominently in the middle of her forehead. A student in her final year at The Christian Academy in Brookhaven, PA, Specht was accompanied on these two international excursions by her parents and some members of their local church group. The initial goal of their charitable expedition was to donate much-needed water filters to an island in Kenya called Mageta, located on Lake Victoria. But like most endeavors approached with open and giving hearts, it soon developed into so much more than that, especially for young Oksana.

            My heart broke when I heard of the realities these people [in Mageta] had to face,” Sprecht wrote in a personalized e-mail to The Christophers. “Every month, about 30 children died from sickness. So it was our goal to give each family around 10,000 water filters. After we went on the trip for two weeks, we heard from the organization later that children were not dying, and the pharmacy on the island was not needed as much, since people were not getting sick!”

            “God laid on my heart the goal to love the children,” Oksana continued. “These children had nothing, and yet had so much joy. They did not want the material things, they wanted to be known…They had such an impact on me, and they will never know.”


            “I also had sticks of glue and glitter,” Specht concluded. “So I used the glue to make shapes and stick on glitter. It was adorable to see hundreds of children with hearts on their foreheads. This is when I took a picture of the little girl and…became inspired to paint her…I longed to show their [the children’s] importance and the light they can bring to anyone in the world.”


            Finally, with another hand-drawn piece, New Jersey senior and third place winner Grace Choi reaffirmed the significance of one person making a profound impact. In this painting, two hands grasp the top and bottom of a globe against a sky blue backdrop, with the various famous wonders of the world (i.e. Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil) sketched in between these two human bookends. Written in purple letters across the front of the globe in a pink heart is the phrase “You Can Make A,” with the word “Difference” in black cursive below it, finishing The Christophers’ often repeated but ever truthful theme, immortalized in our youth contests every year.


            This year, in addition to its three main award winners, The Christophers distributed six additional honorable mentions. We offer many thanks to the applicants, who worked so hard on their artistic portrayals and the teachers who inspire them every day to “make a difference.”


            A non-profit organization founded in 1945, The Christophers uses mass media to encourage all individuals to make a positive difference in the world, as expressed in the Christopher motto: “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

Honorable Mentions

1.     Zada Burleson-Senior-Banquete High School in Banquete, TX

2.     Carter Chasson-Junior-Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, CA

3.     Madeline Heinlen- Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, OH

4.     Kennedy Hally-Senior-Farmington High School in Farmington, UT

5.     Alaina Rothschild-Senior-Somers High School in Lincolndale, NY

6.     Kayla Rosen-Senior-El Camino Real Charter High School-Woodland Hills, CA

 1st PriZE - Logan Hoyt-Senior-Croswell Lexington High School in Croswell, MI 
First Place
Logan Hoyt-First Prize Poster
Second Place
 2nd Prize-Oksana Specht-Senior-
The Christian Academy in Brookhaven, PA 
Oksana Sprecht-Second Prize Poster Conte
 3rd Prize-Grace Choi
 Northern Valley Regional HS in Old Tappan NJ 
Third Place
Grace Choi-Third Prize Poster
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