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The Christophers Announce Winners Of 32nd Annual Video Contest For College Students

NEW YORK, July 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Christophers today announced the winners of their 32nd Annual Video Contest for College Students, in which entrants were asked to create a film or video that communicates the belief that one person can make a difference. Students at the University of Florida, City College of New York and Adelphi University on Long Island won top prizes.

Tony Rossi, the Christophers’ Director of Communications, and Sarah E. Holinski, the Christophers’ Youth Coordinator, said “It is heartening to know there are individuals out there who, with their small but heartfelt acts of kindness, possess the ability to make a huge difference.”

Quan McWil, a Broadcast News major at the University of Florida in Gainesville, won First Prize for a video segment he produced and reported for the school’s WUFT News.  His video, “A Hero Among Us,” centers on Rich Johnson, a thoughtful, cheerful Christian man who owns a boat dealership on the Gulf.  He found himself in uncertain waters while dealing with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Florida a few of years ago. Although he sustained numerous losses, including the destruction of his home, Johnson had the strength and generosity, even in his darkest hour, to think of others before himself. He loaded his trailer with food and supplies to bring to other hurricane victims in need.  

“I think God puts people in your way to help you,” said Cynthia Hathaway, one of the many people whom Johnson helped after they lost their home. “[Rich is] definitely one of God’s angels.” 

Johnson said, “I keep doing what I’m doing, and continuing to help these amazing people…to [let them] know that there’s people out there that care.”

McWil’s winning video can be viewed at 

Second Prize-winner Kelsia Cadet, a Public Relations major at City College of New York, tells the story of artist Stephanie Hughes, whose care for others led her to create “The Art of the Mind,” a nonprofit that raises money through art for individuals in need of mental health care. Her film, divided into four parts, flows in seamless narrative and is interspersed with scenes of Hughes painting a colorful abstract portrait. Highlights include dialogue with the artist and pictures from the first art gala for the nonprofit, which was held at the Harvey B. Gantt Center: An African American Arts and Culture Gallery. 

“The Art of the Mind,” Hughes explains, “was birthed through conversations that I had with people that I loved, and my own experiences. So many people that I talked to just said, ‘I wish that I could talk to someone, but I just can’t afford it.’ ” 

“How we feel inside controls everything,” she adds, “to hear someone hurting and not be able to do anything about it just frustrated me. And the only thing I really know about is art, so that’s what I chose to raise money and put the two together, so people can take care of themselves and feel good, hopefully.”

The video can be seen at ONE PERSON_1.mp4 

Jennifer Karasika, pursuing her Masters of Social Work at Long Island’s Adelphi University, won Third Prize with a personal retrospective on the positive influence her grandmother had on her life, in her video titled “The Beauty of a Life Well-Lived.”  Karasik’s grandmother passed away about four months shy of her 100th birthday, but it is clear that the impact she had on her granddaughter’s life will last for years to come. 

“There was a very large age gap between myself and grandma, almost 75 years,” Jennifer narrates in a voiceover, as a touching photo montage of her grandmother plays across the screen. “Yet, we could not have been closer, because we were the best of friends. Grandma taught me what unconditional love was because, for most of my life, she had short-term memory loss and dementia.”

“Grandma used to say, ‘Things change. You have to change with them,’ ” Jennifer continues, “And so with every change with Grandma, I always saw the positive of her still being with us, even though she was not the same, and that was okay. I adjusted to the new version of Grandma, which was just as beautiful as the one before.”

It can be viewed at

Honorable mentions went to five students:  Carrie Lee Hunter, majoring in Law at Atlanta’s Georgia State University; Devin Philbeck, pursuing an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA; Lizeth Gomez Santiago, studying for a Masters in Engineering Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology; Maia Schulte, a Public Relations major at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and Addison Stone, studying Art Education at Texas Women’s University in Denton, TX. 

The Christophers, founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller,  is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of service to God and humanity, guided by the ancient Chinese proverb—”It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”  Information about The Christophers and its publishing, radio, and awards programs is available at

Contact:  David Reich   (914) 325-9997


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