Seven Miami-Dade County Public School students and teachers took home prizes for submitting winning artwork and essays as part of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust’s annual Homeless Awareness and Sensitivity Poster and Essay Contest.
Winners were announced at the monthly Homeless Trust Board meeting in May. The Trust, in partnership with Miami- Dade County Public Schools’ Project UPSTART Homeless Education Program, reviewed more than 200 entries from more than 20 different elementary, middle and high schools.
The contest is designed to combat bullying, teach students the best way to help the homeless, underscore the fact that homelessness has no age or borders and this year, the importance of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
“Reviewing the essays and posters is an incredibly moving experience because the work reflects students’ own personal experiences, and understanding, of homelessness,” said Ronald L. Book, chair of the Miami- Dade County Homeless Trust. “The essays and the artwork we received this year showed that participants have a strong understanding of the importance of helping and respecting those experiencing homelessness. It can happen to anyone, but everyone can do something about it.”
The student winners are:
Essay Contest (for high school students only): Tori Taylor, a ninth grader from Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH);
High School Poster Contest: Eugenia Jablon, Alia Moussa and Carolina Zuniga — all ninth grade students from DASH;
Middle School Poster Contest: Tatiana Prescott, an eighth grader from Jose Marti Mast 6-12 Academy;
Elementary School Poster Contest: Gabriel Olano, a second grader from Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center, and Hannah Corcoran, a fifth grader from Vineland K-8 Center tied in this category. Winning students and teachers/administrators, receive a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Five runners up and five honorable mentions were selected and will receive Target gift cards.
Founded in 1993, The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust is a county agency headed by a board of 27 volunteers which serves in an advisory capacity to the Miami-Dade County Commission charged with the responsibility of implementing the Miami-Dade County Community Homeless Plan. These volunteers represent the business, religious, educational, provider and political communities, along with formerly homeless individuals.
For more information regarding the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, visit www.homelesstrust.org.