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Spotlight on Art/Media Contest Runners’ Up

We are so proud of our ROR and Rotary Club of Sarasota Bay High School Art/Media contest runners up. Our two extraordinary winners for positive mental health messaging chose videos as their media entries. Students from 10 high schools in Rotary District 6960 registered for the contest and read ROR’s Teen Guide To Health. Their challenge was to choose a subject from the book and illustrate what wellness means to them with a poster, video, photograph, or any mixed media. The contest is the first Mental Health contest of its kind whose mission is to ignite curiosity, creativity and art about what makes them healthy. The contest was hosted by Reach Out Recovery and sponsored by Rotary Club of Sarasota Bay.

Cash Scholarship Prizes For Positive Mental Health Messaging By and For Teens.

In the contest’s first year, six students took home cash prizes totaling $7250. Three high schools on the West Coast of Florida had winners. First prize $5000 went to Desoto High School seniors, Mariela Vargas and Erica Juarez for their two TIKTok Videos, You Are Not Alone, and Spread Positivity. You Are Not Alone had over 2 million views, and the twinning has begun. The Spread Positivity campaign will begin in the new year. Runners Up from Pine View High School won $1000 each, and Jahzara Black, the poster winner from North Port High School, won $250. The Rotary Interact Club of Desoto High School also received $500.

Art/Media Contest Runners Up, Victoria and Tina Tran and Joanna Malvas

There is no order for these two fabulous winners. Both entries charmed the judges. The winning entries chosen for their creativity and messaging. Coincidently, both entries came from Pine View High School and the students were encouraged to enter the contest by their Language Arts teacher, Chris Pauling. The three winning students give him high marks for offering them opportunities like the ROR contest to showcase their talent. We are grateful for Mr. Pauling who stood out in a year of communication challenges and missed opportunities for all.

The winning entries had two things in common that no other students attempted: original music composed for the piece and a poem. Victoria Tran created an animation to tell the twins’ personal story of overcoming physical weakness and shyness through Kung Fu. Victoria and Tina are grateful for their Kung Fu teacher Sifu Leng Tang. Tina composed the music and text.

Victoria and Tina Tran

Victoria and Tina Tran Pine View High School

Frail

And Weak

We Start.

Becoming warriors

We build strength.

From weakness

we grow.

Aflame.

“The inspiration for our animation, Kung Fu and Mental Health, is from the Physical Health chapter. More specifically, the exercise part starting on page 22. On page 25, The Teen Guide to Heath states that one benefit of exercise is that it “enhances emotional wellbeing” because physical movement “releases beta-endorphin” as well as “increased levels of serotonin”. Our group video focused on the physical benefits and spiritual discipline that comes with exercise, utilizing the imagery of Kung Fu training, shown through the abstract frame animation and original music track.”

What Victoria and Tina said about their participation in the contest. “Teen Guide to Health is a good summary of what exactly contributes to positive mental health. Our project exemplifies our unique story- mental health can be trained just like our physical body. Entering the contest made us more aware of what can improve mental health.” Victoria and Tina Tran

Joanna Malvas

Joanna’s YouTube video, The Little Things had us all wiping away a tear. Joanna combined music, video and poetry to create her spoken song. We will be sharing this video widely in the months to come.

Joanna Malvas Pine View High School

“My piece is a mixed medium of free verse poetry and music that I had produced myself using Ableton Live. As my work encapsulates the emotions I felt through music during the pandemic, chapter 4 of the Teen Guide to Health, called Emotional Health, was critical with inspiring my work. For example, on pages 31-32, the guide talks about confronting our emotions and addressing the factors in our lives that may cause us to feel a certain way. Confronting our feelings can be through expression, such as journaling. For me, my form of expression is music. It has helped me cope with stress, as I use music as an outlet for the emotions that cannot be conveyed through words. On page 54, I was reminded of how valuable family and relationships were in holding me accountable and uplifting my mental health in a positive manner; I felt that describing the warmth that I felt from people within my prose was important. On pages 69 to 70, the guide talks about the stages of growth throughout ages 10 to 18. The pages delineate how growth can affect Frontal Lobe controls such as Memory, Motor function, Language, problem-solving, and impulse control. In this sense, I used this page as inspiration, encapsulating stimulation through a progressive build in momentum through the music with the percussive elements within the song. In the way that we grow, we must be able to be knowledgeable about our bodies in order to make healthy decisions and to have better “impulse control”. As the momentum of the song builds then dissipates, it is supposed to be symbolic of how controlled growth can be peacefully beautiful.

Here are the words to the song:
We all know how our entire world changed when the pandemic shifted what we perceive as “normal.” And while we, ever so often, dreaded what was “normal,” such as the nine to five grind, homework and wasting away time, the constant 5 am rush and morning routine makeup and blush, all of it soon became memories we missed.

If there’s anything this pandemic has taught me, it’s that what I had already possessed, I would soon miss. It’s that in an absence of what made me free, I realized what makes me weak. And through this, an epiphany had taken place.

What makes me healthy
Was the sonder within sounds of people passing,
The wide grins of little ones eager to lose their teeth,
The giggles of unlikely friends who listened when no one else did,
The simple background noise that echoed contentment,
That is what I missed. By Joanna Malvas

Art/Media Contest 2022

ROR will host the contest again in the Winter/Spring/Summer of 2022. All high school students on the West Coast of Florida will be eligible to enter. There is no designated program in the Florida school system that currently teaches The Teen Guide To Health. Teachers can choose to use the book as a supplement to a health program or in a general education class or art class. Teachers who worked with students last year came from difference disciplines from a diversity programs, to General Education, Language Arts, and Rotary Interact Clubs. This year ROR will be offering an adopt a school program to make sure that any high school that wants a designated winner associated with a teacher or program in the school can have one.

Contact us if you would like more information about sponsoring a Teacher or High School for a scholarship award next year.

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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation. Leslie is a proud member of Rotary International.

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