On March 26th, Road 2 Resiliency partnered with Teen Advocacy Coalition to invite all 7th - 12th grade students attending South Bend, Raymond, Valley and Naselle schools to participate in the first ever Safe & Sober Art Contest. Students were asked to illustrate and emphasize clean and sober living in a 2-dimensional piece of work.
"It's always hard to gauge how many students will participate in these things," said R2R Coordinator, Allison Graves. "Our school and ESD 113 True North staff worked nonstop to recruit students - revealing so many hidden artists right here in our community. I am still in shock by how beautiful each piece of art was."
R2R and TAC provided free art supplies to all 32 registered students, alongside candy bars, sunglasses and other fun gifts.
"We wanted to eliminate as many barriers as possible for the students," said Allison. "We asked each student which medium of art they preferred, and provided them with an art kit that supplied more than enough material for them to participate in the contest - plus have some leftover. Those who did not request any art supplies received some surprise gifts! Our school and ESD 113 True North staff ensured all the art supplies were hand delivered to the students, that material was provided in Spanish as needed, and that each student received their Resiliency Rockstar award. They really do put their blood, sweat and tears into ensuring their students are taken care of - this project was no exception."
R2R is dedicating the month of July to all the youth who participated in the contest. By showing their classmates and community what a clean and sober lifestyle looks like to them, they helped build resiliency and bring awareness on how to live sober while still making friends and having fun.
Hannah Jewel, winner of the art contest and (soon to be) Senior at South Bend, shared about the contest and her fellow participants to the Willapa Harbor Herald.
"The Safe & Sober R2R Art Contest was the first art contest I've submitted a work into, and I defiantly wasn't expecting to win once I looked at what all I was going against. Everyone had expressed a safe and sober lifestyle in such a unique way. There wasn't a single work that was similar to another," said Hannah.
Coming in very close second was Alexis Frank and Dana Rojas from Raymond High School.
All artwork was displayed at Alder & Co for about two weeks, where community members could see the art in person before voting online for their favorite piece. Voting took place May 17th - 20th via R2R's Facebook page. Community members were asked to "like" to picture they felt meant the theme the best. The picture with the most likes won.
We want to thank school and ESD 113 True North staff, Alder & Co, Teen Advocacy Coalition and multiple community partners and individuals who made this contest possible for our students. Thank you for joining us in our mission to build resilient youth and healthy, empowered communities!