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Over 3,000 Students Participated in Art Contest

NEWARK, NJ, March 1, 2002 -- Sixteen students from schools throughout New Jersey were recognized Tuesday, February 26 at an awards luncheon at the Newark Museum for winning NJ TRANSIT's Black History Month art contest.

More than 3,000 students in grades 5-8 participated in the statewide contest, which was hosted by NJ TRANSIT to celebrate Black History Month. The contest was sponsored by Fleet Bank, who furnished the prizes.

This is the sixth consecutive year that NJ TRANSIT has invited students from New Jersey schools to participate in a Black History Month contest, increasing awareness of the contributions made by African-Americans. The winning artwork has been displayed on NJ TRANSIT trains and buses throughout February.

"I want to applaud all the students who entered NJ TRANSIT's Black History Month contest this year, recognizing African-Americans who have played a vital role throughout our nation's history," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh. "While we celebrate the achievements and contributions African-Americans have made to our society throughout February, it is important to recognize their influence on new generations."

Each student was asked to submit an original art illustration of an African-American person or persons who has made a significant contribution in the past or present, or someone they foresee as a visionary of the future. The artwork was reviewed and evaluated by an independent judging committee.

The contest winners are:

First Place

  • Alexandra Castro (Heights Elementary School in Oakland, grade 5).
  • Louis Rivoire (John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton, grade 6).
  • Ernest Rementilla, Jr. (Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange, grade 7).
  • Patrick Jeong (Tenakill Middle School in Closter, grade 8).

Second Place

  • Diana Osomo (Luis Munoz Marin Middle School in Newark, grade 5).
  • Jordanne M. Allen (Woodstown Middle School in Woodstown, grade 6).
  • Gunnar Arcolea (Freehold Intermediate School in Freehold, grade 7).
  • Grace Kennedy (Hackettstown Middle School in Hackettstown, grade 8).

Third Place

  • Maghan Gautt (Samuel Mickle School in Mickleton, grade 5).
  • Manuel Reiban (Abington Avenue School in Newark, grade 6).
  • Juan Batista (Bloomfield Middle School in Bloomfield, grade 7).
  • Alexandra Melendez (Abington Avenue School in Newark, grade 8).

Honorable Mention

  • Sergio Joseph (Central Five Jefferson School in Vauxhall, grade 5).
  • Anthony Dwayne Jeffrey (Ollie E. Culbreth P.S. #14 in Jersey City, grade 6).
  • Ronald Josias (Union Avenue Middle School in Irvington, grade 7).
  • Krystle Lemonias (Orange Middle School in Orange, grade 8).

The first place winners received a computer and color printer. Second place winners received a camcorder. Third place winners received a color television. Honorable mention winners received a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system, providing bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines.