Headshot - Mayin Puri-b90e9508

Mayin Puri is a member of the class of 2021 at Ridge High School. Besides being involved on the speech and debate team, he has received several academic honors including being in the National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, and an AP Scholar with Distinction. His involvement in speech and debate goes back to his sophomore year in high school. In his three years on the team he has achieved Superior Distinction in the National Speech and Debate Association, placed 4th in extemporaneous speaking at the GMU Patriot Games, and held the position of captain for the extemp team his senior year. Along with speech and debate, he has been greatly involved in environmental justice through organizations like the Sunrise Movement. In his next chapter in college, he looks forward to studying engineering at the University of Illinois and continuing some of his interests like public speaking throughout his time there.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.