The other day, team 1:AM had the pleasure of receiving a visit from our friend, Josue Rojas.  Josue has mastered the art of aerosol paint and shown at the gallery a couple of times.  But in this blog post, we aren’t going to talk about his creative skills, we are going to highlight what he does for our community and about this contest that will put money in your pockets.

Josue works for a non-profit organization called YO! Youth Outlook.  YO! Youth Outlook is an award-winning literary journal of youth life in the Bay Area. Featuring in-depth reporting pieces and first-person essays, comic strips and poetry pages, YO! is the communication outlet for youth who feel their voice and visions need to be seen and heard. YO! is a bridge to the world of youth expression. YO! chronicles the world through the eyes and voice of young people – between the ages of 14 and 25. From reporting pieces on Palestinian American youth in the Bay Area to interviews with gospel hip-hop bands; from photo essays by homeless youth to journal entries from temp workers in Silicon Valley, YO! offers a unique window into California’s youth subcultures.

So when he rolled up in a City Car Share and doubled up in front of the gallery (by the way, this is highly discouraged, the meter maids have been fierce around here), we knew he wanted to talk business.  He told us about a great opportunity that the San Francisco youth could take part in and even, potentially win money.  How much you ask?  Josue told us $1000 bucks! Yeeee! So to do our part for Josue and our community, we promised we would spread the word.  The only catch is, if you enter, you need to turn in your creative submissions by THIS MONDAY, MARCH 1ST @ YO! Outlook, 275 9th Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103.

Here is more info about the contest:

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a national survey that aims to count every person living in the United States on one particular day, April 1st. The information the Census gets is used by government to determine how to distribute funds around the country to communities like yours based on population.

These numbers help to plan for schools, transportation, and clinical services in your neighborhood. These numbers also determine how many representatives each district gets to elect to state and federal government.

The Count Us In contest gives you an opportunity to come up with the best message that will persuade people you know to participate in the Census. It’s the first time young people have been asked to help in shaping the advertising messaging for the SF community and will really help spread the word in communities where there is the highest risk of an undercount.

We need your help; communities that don’t get counted wind up getting the least number of services funded by the government.

Eligibility: Entrant must live or work in San Francisco County and between the ages of 14-21.

Timing: All entries MUST be submitted no later than March 1, 2010. NOT POSTMARKED BY.

How to Enter: Be as creative as possible! No more than three entries per contestant. There are six categories:

a. T-shirt: a graphic or tagline printed on a t-shirt

b. Poster: a drawing, photo or graphic design

c. Poem or rap (no more than 3 minutes long)

d. Video (no more than 1.5 minutes long)

e. Tweet or text (no more than 140 characters): For this category we are looking for the contestant who can write a creative and compelling 140 character social media message and get it read/re-tweeted as many times as possible. use social media to your advantage!

f. Street art (graffiti, murals): use your artistic skills to create a mural that could potentially be painted on a wall in the city.

All submissions must be original work completed by a San Francisco young person. Submit your entry, with your first and last name and your address to YO! Outlook, 275 9th Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103.

Contestants can submit their entry in any language. If your entry is a language other than English, you must submit a translation of the text to aid the judges.

Please submit entries in the highest resolution possible, if applicable. Video can be shot on a variety of formats – ranging from high end, high def camera to cell phones or consumer cameras but cannot be larger than 100 MB and must be one of the following formats: AVI, MOV, WMV, MP4, MPEG, FLV, 3GP, and 3G2. Entrants can edit video using software on a computer at school, a community center, or at home. Posters must be submitted in .gif, .jpg, or .jpeg, .ids format and may not exceed 5 MB.

Click here to download the entry form (MS Word document).

Prizes: First place winners in each category receive $1,000. Second place winners will receive $500.

Judging: A panel of distinguished advertising experts, artists and media practitioners will judge all entries. Entries will be judged on the originality, of the message, the creativity of the design and the overall impact of the overall impact.

Winners List: Winners will be announced in mid March 2010. The winning entries will be used to promote the Census between late March and the end of July 2010. All entries become the property of New America Media and YO! Youth Outlook for the duration of the Census ad campaign.

Sponsors: City and County of San Francisco and the U.S. Census Bureau

Click here to go to the official site.