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Marina Student Wins $5,000 Scholarship In Nationwide 1st Amendment Competition | Arts & Culture

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Marina Student Wins $5,000 Scholarship In Nationwide 1st Amendment Competition

Per News Release:

March 15, 2012, Washington, D.C. – For sharing online how she enjoys exercising her First Amendment rights and joining in a national celebration of the First Amendment on Bill of Rights Day 2011, Abigail Hoffman of Marina, Calif., will receive a $5,000 scholarship to continue her education.


Currently a student at University of California, Berkeley, her entry was judged among the best from a cascade of more than 17,000 tweets and messages sent on Dec. 15, 2011, the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, as part of “Free to Tweet.” Thousands of Americans participated in the public awareness campaign—organized by 1 for All with funding provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation—recognizing First Amendment freedoms and putting a largely overlooked holiday back in the public eye.


In just 88 characters, Hoffman’s tweet prompts the reader to consider how the briefest statement can have a profound impact. Her tweet was one of the first of the competition, made at 12:01 a.m. local time.


“The 45 words remain the same, but they’ve certainly caused a lot of change. #FreeToTweet”


“The “Free to Tweet” competition saw students nationwide reaffirming the value of the First Amendment and expressing themselves creatively through social media,” said Ken Paulson, founder of 1 for All and president of the First Amendment Center and American Society of News Editors. “We’re pleased to recognize Abigail Hoffman for her thought-provoking entry in an extraordinarily competitive field.”


Other winners range from 15- to 22-years-old and hail from 15 states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. A total of $110,000 in scholarships is being awarded.


Each winning message can be seen at 1forall.us/winners. @1forAll will tweet one an hour on March 16, the 261st birthday of Bill of Rights author James Madison.


“Free to Tweet” scholarship entries were judged by a panel of First Amendment and journalism experts who support 1 for All, an unprecedented educational and public service campaign that builds understanding of the First Amendment and its five distinct freedoms: speech, press, religion, assembly and petition.


Until Dec. 15, 2011, Bill of Rights Day had gone largely unrecognized and forgotten. Proclaiming the date a national holiday in late November of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that Americans “will not, under any threat…surrender the guarantee of liberty our forefathers framed for us in our Bill of Rights.” Just days later, Pearl Harbor was attacked, the United States entered World War II and the proclamation was largely forgotten.

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