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United Way of Westchester and Putnam Announces PSA Contest Winners

Elizabeth Marques, BOCES television production and digital film teacher; Anna Burholt, 2-1-1 contest first-place video PSA contest winner; Shannon Cobb, UWWP senior vice president of communications and marketing at United Way’s 2-1-1 Career Day.
Students at Pleasantville High School show off their awards.
Mark Bayer, principal, Somers High School; Shannon Cobb, UWWP senior vice president of communications and marketing; Molly Neylan, first-place radio PSA contest winner; and Philip Campbell, assistant principal, Somers High School.

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The United Way of Westchester and Putnam recently announced the winners of its second annual “Voices for 2-1-1” public service announcement contest.

United Ways in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam partnered with Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Putnam County Executvie MaryEllen Odell in challenging area high school students to participate in this educational contest, which offered the opportunity to further develop students’ communication skills by creating a 60-second written or video public service announcement focusing on United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline, according to a press release.

Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES student Anna Burholt, of Croton-on-Hudson, won first place for her video submission. Sydnie Heslop, of Mount Vernon, won second, and Lauren Salvatore, of Yorktown Heights, was awarded third.

Somers High School student Molly Neylan, of Yorktown Heights, won first place for her radio script submission while two teams from Haldane Central High School were awarded second and third places for their radio script submissions.

As part of the contest, the schools with the most applicants – BOCES and Pleasantville High School – were given the opportunity to host a communications-based career day.

More than 50 students, teachers and administrators from BOCES hosted UWWP’s 2-1-1 Career Day at The BOCES Tech Center in Yorktown Heights, where Burholt and Salvatore were awarded their honors. A second career day, with 30 additional students, including a television production class of students with autism, was hosted at Pleasantville High School.

“It’s moving to experience the students’ creative work and witness their excitement at sharing their talents to help the community,” said Alana Sweeny, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam in a press release. “The student videos will be used throughout the year to promote the 2-1-1 helpline.”

Launched in 2005, United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, multilingual helpline that provides millions of people each year with health and human services information, referrals, crisis support and disaster recovery information.

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