HONOLULU — Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui today honored Sophia Stark for her outstanding representation of Hawaii in a national contest with a Certificate of Commendation. The home schooled 5th grader tied for first-runner up in the national “Bring Our Missing Children Home” poster contest. Sophia competed against 34 local entries and 32 national posters to garner the honor.
“In Hawaii, there are more than 3-thousand children that go missing or run away each year. This contest raises awareness on this important issue and reminds us to continue the work in making families whole again,” said Tsutsui.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day, which is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. It serves as a reminder to continue efforts in reuniting missing children with their families and it also serves as a way to honor those dedicated to this noble cause. In an effort to raise awareness about missing children and keeping all children safe, the U.S. Department of Justice, through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), coordinates a national poster contest, themed “Bring Our Missing Children Home,” for fifth grade students.
“I feel really proud of myself for winning such an important contest. This was such a great opportunity for me and I feel really excited about winning,” said Sophia.
State Attorney General Doug Chin also presented Sophia with a certificate. He said, “Sophia beat out hundreds of entries with her creative and thoughtful art. We’re really proud of her.”
The Department of the Attorney General Missing Child Center-Hawaii assists with the investigation of missing children; coordinates with and assists other government and nonprofit agencies in locating and recovering missing children; assists in training law enforcement, other professionals, and the public on issues relating to missing children; and operates as a resource center for information about preventing abductions and exploitation of children.