FREEHOLD – High students from all over Monmouth County were honored by Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon at the Board of Chosen Freeholders Meeting on Jan. 24.
Students from Long Branch High School, Red Bank Regional High School, and Henry Hudson Regional School were honored as the winners of the county’s Inaugural High School Elections and Voting Video Contest. Students formed groups of up to three people to enter an original video that emphasized the importance of youth voting participation.
“The three winning videos were very different, but each was creatively designed to encourage young people to exercise their right to vote,” said Hanlon. “I was extremely impressed by the students’ entries and commend them on a job well done.”
The first place winners, hailing from Long Branch High School, were seniors: Joseph Occhipinti, Sierra Ortiz, and Nina Gomez. They each received $50 gift card prizes for their win.
Guided by their teacher Jessica Howard Sickler, the three first place winners created an inspiring video featuring their fellow students that highlighted the impact of casting a vote.
Their video stated, “[By voting,] we will help set the course of our nation, today, tomorrow and for years to come.”
The second place winners, hailing from Red Bank Regional, were juniors: Maggie Watson and Natalie Finn. They each received $50 gift card prizes.
Under the direction of teacher, Carl Grillo, Watson and Finn created a parody of disco classic to remind everyone: “It’s time to stand up and V-O-T-E!”
Third place was taken by senior Kerry Harper, of Henry Hudson Regional School. She received a $75 gift card prize.
Guided by her teacher, James Gregg, Harper created an animated video reminding her peers that the younger population is historically underrepresented at the polls.
These winning video entries will be incorporated into the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office voter outreach campaigns. These include Clerk Hanlon’s visits to high schools across the County and on the office’s social media platforms and websites.