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The Winners:

Print PSA - Forrest Mattern

TV PSA - Ashley Fogg

Radio PSA - Nate Guarino

Local First Alliance was honored to hold the first ever Upper Valley High School Communications Competition with aspiring graphic artists and communications professionals at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center this spring. The competition served as a final senior project for students who were asked to create submissions in three categories: TV, Radio, and Print. Each PSA was designed with one question in mind - Why is it cool to shop at locally owned businesses?

This competition engaged a younger demographic in our mission to strengthen the Upper Valley economy and helped us spread the message of how important and fun it is to shop locally. The contest has provided us with powerful marketing resources for our program while giving students valuable experience collaborating with industry professionals. It's an opportunity to showcase their art to the community.

The Upper Valley High School Communications Competition worked with students in HACTC's Media Arts program taught by Felicia Allard. Thanks to Ms. Allard's guidance and teaching expertise, the Local First Alliance Steering Committee had more than enough outstanding submissions to choose from in each category. Despite the overwhelming quality of work displayed by all of the students, three seniors were chosen by the Steering Committee to receive additional honors. The winner of the print PSA will receive $150 and their creation will be printed in the Valley News and on the back of a Chippers truck. The winner of the radio PSA will receive $150, a recording session, and their PSA will run on Great Eastern Radio stations. The winning television PSA will play on WPTZ, and the winner will receive an iPad courtesy of Systems Plus Computers.

Awards will be presented to the winners on Thursday, May 22nd at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center Senior Awards Banquet. Special thanks to Lake Sunapee Bank, Ledyard National Bank, Mascoma Savings Bank, Chippers, Great Eastern Radio, and Systems Plus Computers for their sponsorship.

Thank you to the Communications Departments at Co-op Food Stores, King Arthur Flour, and WPTZ for their time and valuable feedback.