FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Winners
Great Hall of the People; photo by Joy Xie, 1st place winner
The Experience of Grandparents; artwork by Joy Xie, 1st place winner

(New York, NY – October 5, 2017) Family Travel Forum (FTF) and its travel industry partners are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship. Completing its 11th year, 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 May 1 and July 14, 2017, over 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 11th annual scholarship possible.

“We are honored to be part of the eleventh 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 creates greater opportunities for them to succeed in life and have a better understanding of global cultures and ideas. Allianz Global Assistance is dedicated to helping students explore their world and we’re happy to support both the FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship and our very own ScholarTrips program.”

“Once again, we are extremely appreciative of our sponsors for their sustaining support,” said FTF Senior Editor Fran Falkin. “It is very gratifying to acknowledge this impressive work and know we’ve encouraged more than 55,000 teens over the years to share their travels.”

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 14% 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 2017 Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship and thank all bloggers for submitting such great work.

2017 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Winners:

Winners receive a cash stipend plus a GoPro Travel Bag:

1st Place – $1,000
Dust Motes,” by Joy Xie, Boonton Township, New Jersey

2nd Place – $500
Undressed in Atami,” by Vanessa Hu, Livingston, New Jersey

3rd Place – $250
Religion and Revelry in Cuba,” by Alana Webre, Sacramento, California

2017 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Honorable Mentions:

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

Amber Eyes,” by Jennifer Lupinacci, Grapevine, Texas
Answering a Mother’s Call,” by Kaycee Binder, Merino, Colorado
An Underwater World of Wonder: A Glimpse Into My Future,” by Ronja Steinbach, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust,” by Jessica Peoples, Lakeland, Florida
The Blessed and The Ravaged,” by Silas Hutchison, Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Dirt Roads and Land Cruisers: Why I Love Africa,” by Haley Andrews, Arlington, Texas
A Drive Down Memory Lane,” by Jaclyn Biller, Holden, Massachusetts
Dying Legacies and A Dusty Attic: The Lost History of Hungary,” by Veronica Kuffel, Blaine, Minnesota
Galveston: The (Not So) Pristine, Sunny and Glamorous Beach Getaway,” by Emily Humble, Kingwood, Texas
History Below The Streets,” by Gary John Yang, Naperville, Illinois
How I Traveled the World (and Time) in One Day,” by Anika Patel, Fairfield, California
Looking Past the Skyline,” by Shouryaman Saha, Frisco, Texas
On Becoming an Active Spectator,” by Jackie Medina, Sparks, Nevada
The Paper Airplane Wars,” by Ashley Schuliger, Lewis Center, Ohio
Pickett’s Charge – When Even God Mourned,” by Madeleine Barth, Richmond, Texas
Reflections from the Last Frontier,” by Michelle Xiong, Riverside, Connecticut
Like a Scooby Doo Cartoon,” by Jennifer Nelson, Fenton, Michigan
Solace on a Roller Coaster,” by Eli Pearl, Melrose, Massachusetts
Sonqoykipi Apakuway (Take Me in Your Heart),” by Andrea Guzman, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The Sovereign Joy,” by Samantha Lukins, Sequim, 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 Family.com and other sites, in “America’s Most Popular Family Vacations,” “The Complete Idiot’s 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 provides insurance to 25 million U.S. customers annually 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 6 to November 6, 2017. 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 @familytravelforum.com

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