The Montgomery County Women’s Center invited teens to participate in the challenge as a way to create a safe environment to explore and discuss the impacts –
both positive and negative – of common dynamics found in these experiences.
The Writing & Art Challenge was open to all middle school and high school students who reside in Montgomery County. It included students attending public school, private school, alternative education, homeschool, etc. Participants were encouraged to enter a maximum of one submission in a writing or art category.
The writing submission ideas included essay, script, journal entry, poetry, short story, personal essay/memoir. The art submission ideas included flat art, 3D sculpture, ceramic/glass, jewelry, digital design, drawing/illustration, fashion, mixed media, photography, painting, and sculpture.
All works were evaluated by a blind judging process by a group of volunteer community members including high school students and adult judges on the criteria of theme, originality and creativity, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.
An awards ceremony was held at The Woodlands United Methodist Church on Feb. 22, 2018 which featured a Viewing Party where all students received a Certificate of Participation and the winners also received a Certificate of Appreciation. The winners included:
- First Place Writing ($1000 Scholarship) – Bianca Mendoza, 12th grade, Conroe High School, “Metamorphosis”
- First Place Art ($1000 Scholarship) – Chloe Pascual, 11th grade, The Woodlands High School, “Common Bond”
- Second Place Writing ($500 Scholarship) – Cassandra Carrillo Aguilera, 11th grade, Conroe High School, “Dear Humanity”
- Second Place Art ($500 Scholarship) – Davis Payne, 11th grade, Montgomery High School, “This Woman Believes”
- Third Place Writing ($250 Scholarship) – Caramia Mirra, 11th grade, Conroe High School, “Trust In Relationships
- Third Place Art ($250 Scholarship) – Emily Danette Sanchez, 11th grade, Conroe High School, “Trust can Change Like Day To Night”
- Honorable Mention Art ($50 gift card) Ariadna Franco, 12th grade, Oak Ridge High School, “Waltz of Emotion”
- First Place Art ($100 Gift Card) – Jennifer Alvarado, 8th grade, Washington Jr High, “Social Media Marriage”
- Second Place Art ($50 Gift Card) – Sophia Gonzalez, 7th grade, McCullough Jr High, “Bold Stands Out In The Crowd”
- Third Place Art ($25 Gift Card) – Megann Helms. 8th grade, “Hand In Hand”
The Montgomery County Women’s Center’s (MCWC) Youth Advisory Committee started in February 2017. “We acknowledge that youth are experts in their own lives and are key in developing solutions to the health issues in their lives,” notes Melanie Jackman, MSW, Community Outreach Education Manager for MCWC. “The primary function of the Youth Advisory Committee is to recognize youth as valuable stakeholders and we included them in the development, implementation, and evaluation of programming that our agency is delivering in schools and in the community.”
The Montgomery County Women’s Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a United Way agency whose mission is to lead the effort in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault through crisis intervention, assistance, advocacy, empowerment and social change. Services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, advocacy, counseling, legal services and community.