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NEW YORK, July 17, 2020 - Today, The Christophers announces the winners of their 32nd Annual Video Contest for College Students, in which entrants were asked to create a film or video that communicates the belief that one person can make a difference. Tony Rossi, The Christophers’ Director of Communications, and Sarah E. Holinski, The Christophers’ Youth Coordinator, said, “It is heartening to know there are individuals out there who, with their small but heartfelt acts of kindness, possess the ability to make a huge difference.”


     First prize winner Quan McWil, a Broadcast News major from the University of Florida, highlights one such individual in a segment he produced and reported for WUFT News.  His video entitled “A Hero Among Us” centers on Rich Johnson, a thoughtful, cheerful, Christian man who owns a boat dealership in the Gulf Marine.


     Johnson found himself in uncertain waters when dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Florida a couple of years ago. He sustained numerous losses, including the destruction of his home. But even in his darkest hour, Johnson had the strength and generosity to think of others before himself. He loaded his trailer with food and supplies to bring to other hurricane victims in need.


     “I think God puts people in your way to help you,” said Cynthia Hathaway, one of the many people whom Johnson helped. She, along with her husband, had taken up residence in her daughter’s backyard in the wake of the storm. “[Rich is] definitely one of God’s angels.” Johnson said, “I keep doing what I’m doing, and continuing to help these amazing people…to [let them] know that there’s people out there that care.”


     Our second prize winner, Kelsia Cadet from City College in New York City, tells the story of artist Stephanie Hughes, whose care for others led her to create a nonprofit aptly named “The Art of the Mind,” which uses art to raise money for individuals who need mental health care but can’t afford it. Cadet’s film, which shares its name with this charity, flows in seamless narrative, divided into four main parts, and is interspersed throughout with scenes of Hughes painting a colorful abstract portrait. Highlights from the film include dialogue with the artist herself, and pictures from the first art gala for Stephanie’s nonprofit, which was held at the Harvey B. Gantt Center: An African American Arts and Culture Gallery, which proved to be an immense success.


     “The Art of the Mind,” Hughes explains, “was birthed through conversations that I had with people that I loved, and my own experiences. So many people that I talked to just said, ‘I wish that I could talk to someone, but I just can’t afford it.’ ”


     “How we feel inside controls everything,” Stephanie concludes, “to hear someone hurting and not be able to do anything about it just frustrated me. And the only thing I really know about is art, so that’s what I chose, to raise money and just put the two together. So that people can take care of themselves and feel good, hopefully.”


     The third prize winner is Jennifer Karasik from Long Island, New York’s Adelphi University. Karasik offers a personal retrospective on the positive influence her grandmother had on her life, in her video titled “The Beauty of a Life Well-Lived.” Sadly, Karasik’s grandmother passed away “about four months shy [of] her 100th birthday.” It is clear, however, that the impact she had on her granddaughter’s life will last for generations to come.


     “There was a very large age gap between myself and grandma, almost 75 years,” Jennifer narrates in a voiceover as a touching photo montage of her grandmother plays across the screen. “Yet, we could not have been closer, because we were the best of friends. Grandma taught me what unconditional love was because, for most of my life, she had short-term memory loss and dementia.”


     “Grandma used to say, ‘Things change. You have to change with them,’ ” Jennifer continues, “And so with every change with Grandma, I always saw the positive of her still being with us, even though she was not the same, and that was okay. I adjusted to the new version of Grandma, one that was just as beautiful as the one before.”

First Prize 

Quan McWil (Nguyen)
University of Florida in Gainesville, FL
Major: Broadcast News (Telecommunication)

“A Hero Among Us”

Link to video:

Second Prize 

Kelsia Cadet
City College of New York in New York, NY
Major: Public Relations

“The Art of the Mind”

Link to video: 

  ONE PERSON_1.mp4

Third Prize 
Jennifer Karasik

Adelphi University in Garden City, NY

Major: Masters of Social Work

“The Beauty of a Life Well-Lived Never Dies”

Link to video:

Honorable mentions

1) Carrie Lee Hunter

Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA

Title of entry: “Jodie Moseley and the Blue Tarps”

Link to video:

Major: Law


2) Devin Philbeck

Liberty University

Title of entry: “Younglife Leaders Make a Difference”

Link to video:

Major: Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy


3) Lizeth Gomez Santiago

Title of Entry: “One Person can Make the Difference”

Link to video:

Major: Master Engineering Management 


4) Maia Schulte

University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

Title of Entry: "Kind Makes the Difference”

 Link to video:

Major: Public Relations


5) Addison Stone

Texas Women’s University in Denton, TX

Title of Entry: “I Am Clay”

Link to video:

Major: Art Education

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