Contest updates

About the Contest

For the 23rd year, the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS) invites pre-teens and teens across the state to participate in its Annual Teen Media Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development, focusing on parental responsibility. The statewide contest is open to all New Jersey middle school and high school aged students.

Student entrants are asked to create and submit a piece of original work which complements the state's ongoing advertising and community outreach campaign. For 2018, we will be accepting entries in the following categories:

  • Hand-drawn or hand-painted artwork
  • Written word (essay, poetry, composition, etc.) 
The theme for 2018 encourages students to illustrate -- through art or the written word -- What Does Your Family Tree Look Like? This concept can be taken literally, abstractly, or be left to the imagination. It shows that each family tree is different and that it is okay that not everyone has the same type of family background. Each and every person's story is unique.

The submissions deadline for the 2018 contest is April 2, 2018. An awards ceremony for the top three winners in each school-level for each entry category is scheduled for mid-May.

An emphasis is placed on the idea that while they may not live together under one roof – both parents are responsible for enriching the life and securing the future of their child. The DHS intends to use winning student entries to promote this public awareness campaign aimed at New Jersey’s non-custodial parents.

Evaluation Criteria & Judging
Members of the New Jersey Department of Human Services with representatives from various other organizations and/or corporations in the State will serve as judges for the Teen Media Contest. Judging of artwork and the written word will be based on the following criteria (in no specific order):

    • Theme Depiction
    • Overall Appearance
    • Originality
    • Design & Execution

Winning Entry Display
Artwork and written word entries from top winners will be displayed in the New Jersey Statehouse, as well as other potential venues. Winning entries, along with select honorable mention entries, will be included in the 2019 New Jersey Child Support Calendar.

In addition to having their artwork featured in the 2019 calendar, each winner with receive a plaque of achievement, an American Express Gift Card, and a pair of day passes to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. American Express gift cards will be awarded in the following denominations:

    • First Place: $150
    • Second Place: $100
    • Third Place: $50