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April 11, 2011

LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recognized students from five Arkansas schools as winners in his office's annual Youth Suicide Prevention poetry and public service announcement contests.

A team of students from Springdale Har-Ber High School won the PSA contest with its 30-second video on the importance of suicide prevention as it relates to teenagers. The creators of the winning entry were senior Aaron Graham and sophomores Robert Crisp and Katie Mangham.

Angel Everastico, a Danville High School junior, was awarded first place in the Youth Suicide Prevention poetry contest. Tristen Underdown, an eighth grader at Alpena, was the winner in the junior high division of the poetry contest.

Poetry entries were required to be between 30 and 100 words and related to the theme, "Keeping More Than Dreams Alive."

Second- and third-place finishers in the high school poetry division were Alexis Hancock of Danville and Taylor Williams of Arkadelphia. In the junior high division, Steven Cole of Alpena placed second and MiKayla Reyes of Saint Theresa Catholic School in Little Rock was third.

"I applaud the award winners and participants in this year's contests for using their creative talents to help address this troubling problem," McDaniel said. "Their work demonstrates recognition of this serious issue and commitment to a positive approach toward the prevention of youth suicide."

Winners were chosen from more than 300 poetry-contest entries and 77 PSA entries.

The winners were awarded cash prizes and trophies during a ceremony in conjunction with the Attorney General's Youth Suicide Prevention Summit last week. The summit brought together students from across the state to offer information about youth suicide prevention and generate discussion regarding the issue from a youth perspective.

The 16th annual contest was sponsored by the Attorney General's Office and the Jason Foundation.

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