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NH’s Young Talent: Rising Stars Awards Winners 2020

Stay Work Play NH

New Hampshire Public Radio and Stay Work Play honored talented local professionals and organizations at this year’s Rising Stars Awards, held virtually via a live broadcast from the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester on October 15. The Rising Stars Awards honor outstanding young professionals that help make New Hampshire a better place to stay, work and play. Innovative New Hampshire companies that support that mission were also honored. This year marks the eighth year that NHPR and Stay Work Play worked in partnership on the Rising Stars Awards.

The week prior to the event, Stay Work Play hosted two virtual happy hour events with two nominees for the “Coolest Company for Young Professionals” award – Sunrise Labs, Inc. and GYK Antler. Each company explained what makes their organization “cool” and walked attendees through their mission, vision statements and recent work. Both events also provided attendees with opportunities to network and ask nominees questions during engaging virtual conversations.

Typically, the Rising Stars Awards ceremony brings together more than 300 young people, leaders and influencers from throughout the state for a highly-anticipated evening of networking, fun and celebration of life in the Granite State. This year, the event was held with COVID-19 safety measures in place and under socially distanced conditions.  Only award winners and key personnel were present at the Currier, but “attendees” from throughout the state could participate from home by watching the event via YouTube Live.

Hannah McCarthy, the host and producer of NHPR’s Civics 101 podcast, served as the evening’s host, reinforcing the importance of civic engagement among the state’s young people.  

Jim Schachter, NHPR’s president and chief executive officer highlighted the importance of the Rising Stars Awards for local communities. “Tonight is an opportunity for people representative of the Granite State’s growing – and enriching – diversity to come together to share ideas, reflect on innovations, and just simply take pride in our state and pride in how it continues to evolve,” he said in brief remarks. “The platform that the Rising Stars Awards provides to highlight success stories is so important and so needed in the challenging, fraught, unprecedented times we find ourselves navigating.”

Here's the full list of winners:

  • Coolest Company for Young Professionals: Manchester-based marketing and creative agency GYK Antler;
  • Civic Leader of the Year: Hooksett resident Martin Toe, Grassroots Organizer Intern for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Co-Founder of Change for Concord;
  • College Student of the Year: Barrington resident Juliana Good, Senior at University of New Hampshire;
  • High School Student of the Year: Londonderry resident Erin Strike, Senior at Londonderry High School;
  • Intern of the Year: Auburn resident Madison Olsen, Intern with Hinsdale School District;
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Manchester resident Shaquwan’Da Allen, Owner of Rootz Natural Hair Shop;
  • Young Professional of the Year: Lebanon resident Patrick Ho, Chief Resident, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and President of the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society.

Join us in 2021 for the next Rising Stars Awards! 

Aytaj Ismayilova is NHPR’s digital membership associate. She worked as a marketing intern for CatchFire creative agency and as a public relations intern for a local Concord communications agency Louis Karno & Co Communication.
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