Who belongs in the New Jersey Hall of Fame? The New Jersey Hall of Fame and its lead sponsor, Hackensack Meridian Health, want your students to participate in the decision-making process. New Jersey public school students are invited to participate in the N.J. Hall of Fame Essay Contest. Students are asked to recommend potential nominees – living or dead – to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Nominations can include famous people as well as ordinary citizens who do extraordinary things. Students should research or interview, if possible, the person they wish to nominate and write an essay no longer than 500 words.

Essays must be typed and double-spaced. The student must include their name, age, grade level as of April 1, 2024, address, phone number, parent/guardian’s name, school name, and school district. If the essay is a school project, the student should also include the name of the teacher who assigned the activity. Nominations must be postmarked by April 1, 2024, to be eligible. Send entries to NJ Hall of Fame Contest, Meredith Barnes, c/o NJEA, PO Box 1211, Trenton, NJ 08607-1211, or email mbarnes@njea.org with NJHOF Essay Contest in the subject line.

Entries will be divided into two age categories: Intermediate (grades 4 through 8) and High School (grades 9-12). Entries will be judged by a panel comprised of NJEA and New Jersey Hall of Fame representatives. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2023. The winning students will receive a $500 scholarship to pursue a camp, program, or educational opportunity of their choice. They will also be invited to participate in the Annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony scheduled for October 2024, which will be televised on My9NJ.

The winning students’ nominations will be forwarded to the New Jersey Hall of Fame Academy for consideration in 2024. The Academy, comprised of 100 of New Jersey’s most prominent organizations, ethnic groups and media outlets, will review nominees and ultimately select Hall of Fame nominees to be put forth for the public vote in the fall. NJEA serves on the Voting Academy.

Legislation to create The New Jersey Hall of Fame passed unanimously in the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor in 2005. The New Jersey Hall of Fame has been created to honor our sons and daughters who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. The Hall of Fame seeks to send a message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing. By presenting significant and powerful role models, The New Jersey Hall of Fame Entertainment and Learning Center, when built, will be a source of learning, inspiration and hope for all New Jersey children.

For more information about the New Jersey Hall of Fame, visit www.njhalloffame.org.

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