Department of Human Services

A Call for Entries: 2021 New Jersey Teen Media Contest Celebrates Family & Loved Ones During Challenging Times

Deadline for Entries is March 31

Jan. 8, 2021

(TRENTON) New Jersey Human Services today announced teens across the state can begin submitting entries for the 26th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights Human Services’ mission to support families, especially during these challenging times.

The contest, run by Human Services’ Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-age children. This year, the contest will once again accept entries in the hand-painted/hand-drawn and written word categories.

The 2021 contest challenges teens to illustrate – through art or the written word - how they and their loved ones have supported each other through all of the changes that have happened this year, from remote schooling to finding new ways to stay connected to friends and family.

“These have been challenging times and so much has changed in the world around us,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “From spending time with our families and loved ones while socially distanced to doing activities on a computer we usually do in-person, this year affected us all in many ways. With that in mind, we again look forward to the creativity of New Jersey teens and to celebrating their talents.”

“The contest focuses on celebrating family and the importance of parents and loved ones and their deep involvement in a child’s life,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who oversees the Division of Family Development. “The Teen Media Contest has been part of our enduring effort to foster that understanding. Year after year, the entire Human Services team is struck by the creativity, vision and talent that students bring to the contest. We eagerly anticipate the creative works of this year’s entrants, and how they creatively conceptualize the essence of family.”

All entries must be postmarked no later than March 31. Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second, and third places in both the middle and high school groups, for each of the two entry categories. Typically, winning students are recognized at an awards ceremony in mid-May, but a final decision on an awards ceremony will be made at a later date based on the status of the public health emergency and related health and safety guidelines.

Winning entries from the contest will be included in the 2022 Office of Child Support Calendar, as well as potentially being included as part of the office’s marketing materials. A number of honorable mention entries will also be selected for possible inclusion in both areas.  

The 2021 calendar can be viewed or downloaded from the contest homepage, www.NJTeenMedia.org, to serve as inspiration for the teens. The web site also provides the official rules, frequently asked questions, entry forms, a look at the winners and honorable mentions from previous contests and other important contest information.

Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting www.NJTeenMedia.org or by contacting Matthew Cossel at 937-207-7627 or matthew.cossel@efkgroup.com. School registration is not required for direct student entry. For complete submission guidelines, visit www.NJTeenMedia.org.

For more information about child support services, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit www.NJChildSupport.org.