|Special to the Courier|
MATFORCE has chosen the winners of its "My Voice Makes a Difference" Video Contest. The annual contest is designed to give youth in Yavapai County the opportunity to express their voices and opinions in order to make a positive effect on reducing the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Winners were selected in two age categories: middle school and high school. Winners received cash prizes of $300 for first place, $200 for second place, $100 for third place and $25 for honorable mention.
In the middle school category, first place was awarded to Grace Holverson and Hannah Parker of West Sedona Middle School. Their video is titled "Hugs Instead of Drugs" and depicts teens speaking their minds about drug and alcohol abuse. Second place was awarded to Jasmine Jeffries of Glassford Hill Middle School in Prescott Valley for her video titled "Be Strong. Be Smart." Third place was won by Frida Mendoza, Martin Contreras, Aynessa Watson, Josh Hoelting, Jaciel Meza, Victor Anaya and Shelby Ortega of Cottonwood Middle School with a video titled "Drinking and Driving."
In the high school category, Tri-City Prep High School in Prescott swept the first, second and third place awards. First place was awarded to the Peer Assistance and Leadership Class for their video titled "Choice," which depicts students making the choice to prevent drunk driving. Second place was awarded to Sarah Cramer, Josh Perry, Blair Willette and Ian Glow for their video titled "It Could Be You." Third place was awarded to Mary Hargrove, Katie Bucklein, Anna Flurry and Natalia Esoulova for their video titled "Never Have I Ever."
Honorable mention awards included Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley, students Matthew Solorio, Amanda Rodriguez, Itzel Ramirez and Nina Terrinoni; the 6th-period class from Mingus Mountain Academy in Prescott Valley; Prescott Valley Charter School students Geoff Voss, Bryson Davis, Jimmy Torres, Blake Beneda, Cherish Gipson, Aaryn Smtih, David Henderson and Clayton Brandon; and Tri-City Prep High School students Jenni Erickson, Sierra Fontenot, Keoni Bermoy, Keri Prince, Grant Morgan, Sebastian Trejo, Kylee Gowan and Ryan Deckard.
Winning videos can be viewed on the MATFORCE website at matforce.org.