January 30, 2013
Free to Tweet

'Free to Tweet' celebrates First Amendment

Five Students Win $5,000 scholarships in Free to Tweet Contest

WASHINGTON — Five students who tweeted about how they enjoy exercising their First Amendment rights as part of 1 for All's national "Free to Tweet" celebration of the First Amendment will receive $5,000 college scholarships to continue their education.

The winners' entries were judged as the best from more than 3,600 tweets sent during the 15-day celebration and scholarship competition. The competition was organized by the Newseum's First Amendment Center, 1 for All and the American Society of News Editors, with funding provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, "Free to Tweet" is designed to increase public awareness of how much First Amendment freedoms affect our daily lives.

The winning students from across the nation — Anthony Jackson, Kyndall Mills, Samantha Lena Rosenthal, Marissa Paige Smith and Amanda Wolfgang — were selected based on the creativity and relevance of their tweets.

Anthony Jackson is a student at Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tenn., and plans to study economics and computer science at the University of Chicago. Jackson is deeply interested in how the global economy connects people and his tweet encouraged Americans to express their First Amendment rights more by speaking out on issues.

"The government can't be of the people, by the people, or for the people if they don't know what the people want. Speak up & out. #FreeToTweet"

Kyndall Mills will study elementary education, specializing in reading, and play volleyball at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, starting this fall. During the 2012 presidential election, she developed a passion for activism, which led her to the Free to Tweet campaign. "The First Amendment rights are at the heart of what the United States stands for at its core," said Mills.

"Free 2B Christian. Free 2B Jewish. Free 2B Muslim. Free 2B Agnostic. Free 2B Atheist. Freedom Of & From Religion. #FreeToTweet @freetotweet"

Samantha Lena Rosenthal is currently studying journalism at the University of Central Florida. She hopes that new media platforms will "allow for more open environments for opinions and making sure our voices are heard." Rosenthal's tweet was fitting for a journalism student.

"Pen & paper may not be free, but the words we choose to write are. #FreedomOfPress #JournalismFreedoms #FreeToTweet"

Marissa-Paige Smith is studying communications arts and sciences at Penn State University. She minors in media studies and rhetoric and is the co-editor of Problem Child Liberty Magazine, an on-campus publication. Smith's tweet addressed the right to petition.

"The right of petition means citizens get the chance to make the government reconsider. #FreeToTweet"

Amanda Wolfgang is a junior at Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pa., and plans to play softball at the collegiate level while pursuing a career in actuarial science. Wolfgang's tweet focused on the right to peaceably assemble.

"The freedom to assemble gives Americans the opportunity to be heard when a single voice is not loud enough.#FreeToTweet"

"It was truly heartening to see so many young people celebrate America's oldest values," said Ken Paulson, founder of 1 for All and president of the First Amendment Center. "We congratulate all the winners and thank the many teachers and parents who encouraged students to participate in this nationwide exercise of free speech."

Each winning message can be seen at 1forall.us/freetotweet/winners. @freetotweet2012 will tweet the winning entries during the coming days.

"Free to Tweet" scholarship entries were judged by First Amendment experts and educators who support 1 for All, an educational and public service campaign created to build understanding of the First Amendment and its five distinct freedoms: speech, press, religion, assembly and petition.

For more information on the ongoing 1 for All campaign, to join its mailing list, or to learn more about upcoming programs, visit www.1forall.us.

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