Hope and Justice

Hope’s Eternal Glow

“One of the best ways I find hope is through writing. In this poem, I wrote about hope; and by writing this, I gave myself hope. I am a very hopeful person because of the artwork I do. Writing helps me express that hopefulness and makes it contagious to others.”


“My submission depicts a person sitting on a pedestal on a stage, with wings that are being cut. I meant for this to symbolize a child with a parent that expects great things from them while controlling them and stopping them from pursuing things they like. I created this artwork in hopes that the people who go through this could finally feel seen and heard.”

for the kid who has given up

“This poem shows how there is hope even when things get hard. This piece is particularly important regarding the current mental health issues in classrooms in America. While working on this piece, I learned the impact of my words on the people around me. This poem was created to give hope to the hopeless.”

From Another Perspective…

“With everything going on, it is hard to focus on one thing at a time without worrying about another thing. I chose the theme of ‘hope’ because I wanted to show what gets me out of my negative state and come back with a better mindset. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or overly stressed, I try to find a new atmosphere and do something completely different. This usually involves being around the people I care about the most.”

Flower of Love

“My mother is the unifying piece in my soul, the all-important keystone which keeps me together. I look forward to embracing her warm smile every day after I arrive home, tired and stressed from the long school day. Her hard work inspires me to be the best person I can be. She is what makes me hopeful.”

The Wheel of Womanhood

“This poem shares my experience of the trauma of growing up as a woman – being treated as less than, and knowing your rights wouldn’t be as compromised if you were born male. I wrote about the lack of justice that people born female face when entering the world and how the trauma and fear is passed on for generations. As someone who is gender nonconforming, I have always felt like the world has (and always will) treat me with less respect because of the body I was born in.”

Blossoming Identity

“As a young closeted queer person, I often felt alone. However, once I finally got to high school, I saw all of these wonderful openly LGBTQ+ people who were happy to reach out their hand to me. They supported me as I came into my own identity and helped me gain the confidence to be out myself. Seeing them out and proud gave me such hope for the future.”

Faded Ink

“When I wrote this piece, I wanted it to capture the concept that things will get better as time goes on. It goes back to the ‘hope’ aspect of Directing Change, and I wanted it to show that while so many people are struggling with mental health, or other issues, that there is always another reason to stay here. In this piece, it shows a young girl who had been planning on attempting suicide, but found help, and got better. I related it back to hope, showing there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel, if you choose to follow it.”


“I turned to art and writing as a way to use creativity as an outlet for my emotions. Throughout the poem, I use my hands as a symbol of instruments of past acts of destruction, but more importantly, as vessels for the art and poetry that helped save me. My experiences often feel like handfuls [that are] too big to hold, but they are made easier by the relief brought by seeing my hardships illustrated in acts of creativity. Art and writing poetry helped me understand my own experiences and helped me forge a path toward recovery.”


“My piece is a poem about my struggle with body image. Every day, I used to feel terrible, and think horrible thoughts about myself. Throughout my experience, my mental health deteriorated even more. But some part of me knew that it would pass, knew that I would get over it. A sliver of hope helped me get through many of my issues, and I hope it can guide others out of the dark as well.”