Winners of the 2016 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Announced
FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship 2016 1st Place Winner, Arnold Icaro
"Jeepny" in Batangas, Philippines, Illustrating 1st Place Winner's Blog

(New York, NY – October 4, 2016) Family Travel Forum (FTF) and its travel industry partners are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship. For 10 years, this annual merit scholarship has been hosted by the award-winning vacation guide publisher to promote teen literacy and reward teens’ best travel blogs with cash prizes for college or future travels.

Between June 1 and July 13, 2016, nearly 2,000 students in US, Canada, American-International schools or home-schools applied to blog about a travel experience, whether near or far, that had a meaningful impact.

The generous sponsorship of Allianz Global Assistance USA, ScholarTrips, Travel Media Showcase, TMS Family Travel, Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), CityPASS and Lonely Planet made the 10th annual scholarship possible.

“We are thrilled to have been a part of the tenth annual FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Providing students with an opportunity to learn through travel sets them up for greater success in life and a better understanding of different cultures and ideas. Allianz Global Assistance prides ourselves on this belief, which is why we have continued to support our ScholarTrips program.”

“We cannot thank our sponsors enough for helping to sustain this scholarship,” said FTF Senior Editor Fran Falkin, “which has inspired more than 50,000 young writers to share their travels. We know they’ve connected with students around the world, because both Cambridge University Press and Bildungshaus Schulbuchverlage GmbH have selected these travel blogs as source material for their English language textbooks.”

Three preliminary rounds of judging were done by FTF interns, members of the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and FTF editors who selected Quarter-Finalist, Semi-Finalist and Finalist blogs comprising 25% of the essays submitted.

Winners were selected from the top 1% by a team of professional educators from the JEA, writers from SATW, and representatives from the Society of Professional Journalists, and Tourism Cares, the charitable arm of the travel and tourism industry. Finalist essays were judged on creativity and eloquence; a sense of place; emotional impact; vocabulary and style; and grammar, punctuation and spelling.

We congratulate the winners of the 2016 Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship and thank all bloggers for submitting such great work.

2016 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Winners:

Winners receive a cash stipend plus a GoPro Travel Bag:

1st Place – $1,000
Setting Foot in a Nation of Faith and Resilience,” by Arnold Icaro, Pflugerville, Texas

2nd Place – $500
On Painting Impasto,” by Samantha Kiss, Chesapeake, Virginia

3rd Place – $250
A Rose in the Desert – Serenity in Damascus,” by Bakr Marouf, Annandale, Virginia

2016 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Honorable Mention:

Honorees receive a Certificate of Commendation and a subscription to Lonely Planet Magazine:

A Grand Design,” by Allison DeBoer, Auburn, Washington
A Stroll in Berlin,” by Noa Donvan, Washington, DC
A Thousand Ones,” by Isabel Campbell, Burlington, Kentucky
Breathtaking Moments: Finding Freedom in Our Vast Planet,” by Kate Shaffer, Ringoes, New Jersey
China’s Treasure,” Nina Mayers, Richmond, Texas
Death on the Bridge of Life,” by Jolyna Chiangong, Southfield, Michigan
Hope in the Midst of Despair,” by Sophia Ebel, Urbana, Illinois
Joy Amidst Devastation,” by Sarah George, Indianapolis, Indiana
My Soul for Santa Maria: Life Lessons Learned from a Volcano,” by Hannah Bahls, Port Townsend, Washington
Navigating the Dark in the City of Light,” by Giuliana Nicolucci-Altman, Chicago, Illinois
Of Heat and Humanity,” by Allyson Xie, San Diego, California
Pilatus: The Dragon’s Mountain,” by Mary-Bryant Charles, Greenville, South Carolina
Rediscovering My Roots,” by Alejandro Jacobo, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Seoul-Searching,” by Angelica Kim, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Storming Castles and Hunting Dwarves in Poland,” by Bryson Jones, Gilbert, Arizona
Sunrise Serenade – Hiking Navajo Peak, Washington,” by Adam Tucker, Mercer Island, Washington
The Blossoming of Compassion,” by Alexandra Johnson, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Universal Language: Ice Cream Cones and Crayola Crayons,” by Haley Eblin, Grosse Ile, Michigan
Too Close for Comfort,” by Alexander Samland, Torokbalint, Pest, Hungary
Where Humans and Wildlife Collide,” by Justin Velasco, Maple Valley, Washington

About Family Travel Forum
Family Travel Forum has been the trusted vacation planning resource for global travel with kids and grandkids since 1996. FTF’s expert and community content has been seen on Disney’s and other sites, in “America’s Most Popular Family Vacations,” “The Complete Idiots Guide to the Best Family Destinations,” “Amazing Places to Take Your Kids in North America” and by millions of traveling families. In addition to co-hosting the annual TMS Family Travel Summit and conferences, FTF ventures include the “The Family Vacationist” blog and e-alert; and Family Travel Consulting to the trade in partnership with Taking the Kids.

About Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance is a leading specialty insurance and assistance company with operations in 34 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance insures 16 million customers and is best known for its travel insurance plans. Additionally, Allianz Global Assistance supports the education of young travelers by providing them the opportunity to travel the world through their ScholarTrips essay contest. This merit scholarship will be accepting submissions from October 10 to November 10, 2016. Six Grand Prize winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

About TTW Travel Industry Partners
Travel Media Showcase and TMS Family Travel, divisions of J. Vero & Associates, are designed to bring together leading print and broadcast travel media with tourism representatives from around the world to showcase new regions for media to cover, and connect destinations with qualified leads. The Society of American Travel Writers, a tax-exempt, professional association established in 1955, includes journalists, editors, photographers, filmmakers, bloggers, and communications professionals who specialize in the travel industry.

Contact: Fran Falkin
Email: FTFstaff


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1 Reply to “Family Travel Forum Announces Winners Of Its 2016 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship”

  • Cristoph126

    Congratulations to the winners! A question to all the professional travelers here, how are you planning the route ant the places to see while visiting a new country? As for me I just google the most touristic and popular places. It works mostly, but there were a few times when I realized that I have seen only some the places this country or city is famous for, and that’s sad. On my last trip to Armenia, I decided to take a tour and it was quite productive. It’s much more informative when somebody is telling you history and some interesting facts. If someone wants to save their time – make sure to ask them to help if you’ll ever be there.