Riverside County Art

Directing Change is an evaluated suicide prevention and mental health program with the mission to educate young people about critical health topics through art and promote social justice and health by changing conversations in schools and communities.
2023

The Sound of Thoughts

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Visual Art
2023
Artist: Blake Grimmett
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Los Angeles County Office of Education
Advisor: Nicholis Kalantar
Music is abstract, similar to our lives. I think music helps reflect how we feel so we can work through how our emotions are holding us down. It's also influences on how we feel so I think listening to music creates change small or big, I think it creates change within, it creates hope for something...

Safe Space

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Visual Art
2023
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Advisor: Mark Zarate
When things happen in our lives, sometimes we cope by listening to music and tuning out the chaos around us. It's important to take moments for ourselves to calm down, reflect, and think clearly. To me and many others, music is a way to accomplish that. […] I made this art piece in order to thank...

LOVE

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Valley View High School
Advisor: Mark Zarate
“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...

Mental Health Awareness

Third Place Hope and Justice - Visual Art
2023
Artist: Audrey Sanchez
Riverside County
Grade: 8
Rancho Viejo Middle School
Advisor: Mr. Oustad
"I chose this category because I know that many people struggle with mental health and I wanted to make this art for them to show my support."

Don’t Speak

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice - Visual Art
2023
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Valley View High School
Advisor: Mark Zarate
“Trauma can be difficult for people to speak up about. It's even harder to talk about your trauma when you don't have people who are supportive and willing to take you seriously. It's very important that people have someone to talk to about their traumatic experiences [with], because talking about it helps in overcoming it; it's...

4 Faces 4 Friends

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Art
2023
Artist: Layla Gillingham
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
This is how I see me, and how I see my friends. Instead of how they look, see them as they are. Some are quiet, some are shy, but we are all creative and confident. we accept each other as we are... funny, loyal, smart and a bit goofy. We can share about anything, even reach...

A tempestuous sea

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Written Works
2023
Artist: Jacob Delgado-Verduzco
Riverside County
Grade: 8
Landmark Middle School
Advisor: Vanessa Hoang
My submission is about the different emotions and situations that life throws at you.

Fly

Second Place Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Valley View High School
Advisor: Mark Zarate
My entry shows a girl releasing a bird, which flies out from her hands. This drawing conveys how I felt when one of my close friends moved away few years ago. I felt like I had let go of her, and for a while I was sad. However, I soon learned that our connection couldn't be...

Angel Peer vs. Devil Peer

Third Place Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Connor Do
Riverside County
Grade: 11
John F. Kennedy Middle College High School
Advisor: Susana Callon
My submission Angel Peer vs. Devil Peer compares and contrasts the effects or accepting, or denying peer pressure. One side features an angel peer where the teenager rejects peer pressure and maintains a happy healthy state. The other side features a devil peer where the teenager accepts peer pressure and lives in an unhealthy and depressed...

Light behind the Fog

Honorable Mention April Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Kiara Fernandez
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Coachella Valley High School
Advisor: Monica Perez
My art piece is about mental health awareness. Some who struggle with mental health issues may feel like they are trapped, but there is hope. The thick fog that you may feel lost in can be overcome, as you are your own light.

Worms

Second Place April Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Valley View High School
Advisor: Mark Zarate
This digital art piece is meant to represent the racism I experienced as a child at school, especially during lunch, when I would bring my mom's homemade food to school. I loved my culture, and I loved the food my mom would make me. But the other kids weren't familiar with my culture, and they would...

Isolation

Honorable Mention - RUHS Substance Use Awareness
2023
Artist: Miabella Cansino and Stephanie De Jesus
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Indio Teen Center / Indio Youth Advisory
Advisor: Rosalva Campos
I chose this category because I am a shy person so painting is an easier way for me to communicate and painting helps me in expressing my emotions more.

Fentanyl information

Honorable Mention - RUHS Substance Use Awareness
2023
Artist: Mia B. Rodriguez Sanchez
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Nellie Coffman Middle School
Advisor: Cathie Sowell
I made a poster about the dangers of fentanyl.

Strings Attached

3rd Place - RUHS Substance Use Awareness
2023
Artist: Connor Do
Riverside County
Grade: 11
John F. Kennedy Middle College High School EVOLVE
Advisor: Susana Callon
My artwork, "Strings Attached" regards the strings that come with being in an environment with drug abuse. Often, high schoolers face peer pressure. They face manipulation and gaslighting that leads them to drug use. My artwork symbolizes the manipulation that is often behind the abuse of drugs and the effects that come with it.

Opioids Use Directing Change Digital Art

1st Place - RUHS Substance Use Awareness
2023
Artist: April Nunez
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Indio Teen Center/YAC
Advisor: Rosalva Campos
My art piece represents the reality of how easily opioids can be disguised as pills letting viewers know how it's easier to hide dangerous substances within something that seems harmless. However, now pills have become more and more common to become a way for teens to get high, but little do teens know it is dangerous...

Representation Matters

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Visual Art - High School 
2023
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Valley View High School
Advisor: Lisa Patterson
My entry depicts an Asian-American person holding the Asexual (or Ace) flag in their hand. They have the South Vietnam (or Republic of Vietnam) flag on their cheek, with the words "Representation Matters" at the top, which is also what I've named my submission. The theme of February's prompt is "More than One", and I feel...

A Beautiful Mind

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice 
2023
Artist: Abigail Roulette
Riverside County
Grade: 6
David A Brown Middle School 
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
I wanted to create an art piece that displayed what I've learned about Mental Health in my Leadership class so I painted what I've filled my mind with! I know I have help from my school and family, and I know that beautiful things can come from seeking help.

Catching my inspiration

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Joshua Cruz
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Luiseno School
Advisor: Amanda Le
"This project includes mixed media of photography of me in my catching gear, watercolor paints, and markers. I have played baseball since I was three years old. In 2019 my little league major baseball season was cut short, and I missed playing baseball and playing with my friends. When baseball started up again, I was not...

Molding Yourself

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Lailene Jimenez and Natalie Ramos
Riverside County
Grade: 8
Landmark Middle School
Advisor: Vanessa Hoang
"We hand sculpted the clay into society's perfect vision of a man and a woman. We struggle and fight to figure out our place in the world, but we shouldn't shape ourselves based on the fear and expectation of what other's want us to be."

Hope for people to find their happy spot

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Liliana Hernandez
Riverside County
Grade: 6
Lakeland Village School
Advisor: Amanda Le
"I chose to do this piece because I want people to find their happiness anywhere and for people to not be lonely. Also for people to find hope for what they are doing because some people might think it's not fun but other people might think it is."
2022

Words of Hope

First Place Hope and Justice
2022
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Valley View High School
Advisor: Mark Zarate
I wanted to create an artistic portrayal of how words can empower people and encourage them to persevere through difficult circumstances. People say that actions matter than words, but I think that words should not be underestimated in how powerful they can be. When I was creating this artwork, I wanted to juxtapose sadness and relief...

Freed

Honorable Mention Place Monthly Prompt - Art
2022
Artist: Mia Gaines
Riverside County
Grade: 11
POLY High School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
“This is an image of someone who wants to be freed from everyone else’s thoughts and what they have to say. I chose to do this project because that is how I was feeling and feel that someone always has something to say about my life and I am not allowed to think for myself. I...

Reflections

Third Place Monthly Prompt - Art
2022
Artist: Michelle Feimer
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Poly High School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
“This image is of a reflection of what people see versus what I feel. I chose reflection because if you look at what people think about you, then you realize that the negative thoughts you are thinking about yourself are really not that bad. I like that this image may give others hope and allow them...

Feeling the Melody

Third Place Monthly Prompt - High School Art
2022
Artist: Audrey Hills
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Palm Desert High School
Advisor: Rebecca Lopez
When I saw the "Find your Anchor" monthly prompt, I thought about how much I enjoyed listening to music when I felt down. I thought of the song "Sunday Best" by Surfaces and drew how I felt when listening to that song. I ended up with a sunny background with music notes around my character. In...

not me

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt- Written Works
2022
Artist: Angel Rodriguez
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Indio high school
Advisor: Margaret Rodriguez
My submission is a poem about reading, reading has always helped me ever since I can remember. Using my head and imagination for reading helps me get out of any thoughts I don't want to be listening to. I believe everyone should have a happy place and I want to inspire people to look for their...

Promising Future

Honorable Mention May 2022 Monthly Prompt “Dear Me”
2022
Artist: Ariadna “Ace” Nicanor
Riverside County
Grade: 7
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
I wanted to show myself as I am now, holding the lime green ribbon representing mental health. For my future, I thought about action statements that would help me become the best that I can be. All of that ends at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, which would be my successful...

My Bright Future

Honorable Mention May 2022 Monthly Prompt “Dear Me”
2022
Artist: Kaylie Chico
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
Kaylie created this drawing to show who she is now, and who she plans to be in the future. Her 2022 self holds the green ribbon of mental health to show she cares about her mental health. The drawing of her 2027 self is wearing all lime green- she wanted people to know she will follow...

Realizing Truth

Honorable Mention May 2022 Justice
2022
Artist: Angelina Dominguez
Riverside County
Grade: 10
San Jacinto Valley Academy
Advisor: Jolien Vanegas
My entry expresses my anxiety about the environment. Fear should not be seen as a weakness but strength because without fear there is no bravery. By painting this I expressed that with every new year I receive more knowledge which may scare me and crack the safety of the walls I have put up but the...

Let them be your light.

Honorable Mention May 2022 Hope
2022
Artist: Sophia Wilkin
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Canyon Lake Middle School
Advisor: Christie Wilkin
Personally, I really struggled with my mental health for awhile. But ‘they’ were always there. They were my light. My guide. They helped me out of that hole, that darkness, no matter how much I pushed them away. I didn’t want them to be my light. I didn’t want a ‘they.’ But they never left. They...

Dear Me

Honorable Mention May 2022 Monthly Prompt “Dear Me”
2022
Artist: JoseAngel Lujano
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Gateway College and Career Academy
Advisor: Kathleen Bywater
I choose this category because I wanted to reflect on the future.

Dear future me

3rd place May 2022 Monthly Prompt “Dear Me”
2022
Artist: Irving Rodriguez
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Gateway College and Career Academy
Advisor: Kathleen Bywater
My piece is a letter to my future self. I chose this prompt to self reflect.

Changing Hearts

Honorable Mention Hope & Justice - April
2022
Artist: Melina Barba-Perez
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Liberty High School
Advisor: Deanne Dean
I wrote this poem because we never know what other people are going through. So many people have been through a lot of struggles in life (mental health struggles, family struggles, etc.), including me, so we need to be kind to one another. I hope this poem helps inspire teenagers that have struggled in life to...

The Jellyfish Theory

2nd Place Monthly Prompt April - Cannabis Decoded
2022
Artist: Isabella Martinez
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Heritage High School
Advisor: Denise Lopez
I decided to talk about addiction to marijuana. I think this is an important topic that not many like to talk about because there is a lot of misinformation about CBD and the use of marijuana. I wrote about my point of view and my story in relation to this topic. I feel strongly about this...

“When the world can be yours”

2nd place Monthly Prompt - March 2022
2022
Artist: Joseph Soto
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Ramona High School
Advisor: Veronica Martinez
When the world can be yours, art projects allowed the creators of these projects to use visual, logical, and social-interpersonal learning styles to capture the attention of the Ramona High School students and, more importantly, to promote Mental Health dialogue among one another. This Art Project required a great deal of internal reflection and dialogue to...

Thinking of you

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - March 2022
2022
Artist: Gabriel Mercado
Riverside County
Grade: 8
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garett
I choose this category because i have stress and even sometimes feel sad i want to bring awareness to such a topic like this.

Isolation

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - March 2022
2022
Artist: Isabella Gonzalez
Riverside County
Grade: 10
Arlington High School
Advisor: Molly Puzo
“The meaning behind my piece is that you don't have to struggle when you are at your worst. You can talk about what's happening within you instead of letting it build up like I once did.”

Faces of Anxiety

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - March 2022
2022
Artist: Makayla Chacon
Riverside County
Grade: 8
Pinacate Middle School
Advisor: Veronica Torrez
I chose this category for my painting because it's a mental disorder that I suffer through a lot and tends to affect how I act when being social which having social anxiety can be a struggle. I also chose it because it's a common mental disorder, and it can affect many people.

A Little Fun

3rd place Hope - March 2022
2022
Artist: Ashley Breana Dunaway
Riverside County
Grade: 11
Heritage High School
Advisor: Charis Washington
“My entry is about practicing self-care by allowing your inner child to run wild. If they wish to dance, then you dance. If they want to finger paint, then you finger paint. Reconnecting to your inner child lets you enjoy the simple things in life and gives you a way to relax and have fun.”
2021

Love Your Body

2021
Artist: Brooke Ramirez
Riverside County
Grade: 12
Jurupa Valley High School
Advisor: Phillip Ramirez
I choose this category because I want to bring awareness to it. I had once lost a lot of weight due to me being very sad. It was fairly noticeable and people started to commented about it. Some of the words surrounded by the women in the drawing are what people said to me. I then...

A Day in My Life

Honorable Mention - February 2021 Hope & Justice Contest
2021
Artist: Zaiah Shepherd
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Riverside Behavioral Health Department
Advisor: Jennifer Simpson
The way my speech relates to what was asked, I wrote about the unfairness I encountered in my life, the discrimination and stereotypes I've been put in, and the injustice. I wrote about how many infortunate events have blocked me from getting to my full potential. I find myself being afraid to go out and play...

What Hope Means to Me

Second Place - January 2021 Hope & Justice Contest
2021
Artist: Beaux R Seymour
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jessica Valencia
"My entry is a narrative, and it is about how I was able to overcome personal challenges because I learned how to believe in hope."

Shining in the City

Third Place - November 2021 Hope & Justice Contest
2021
Artist: Emiliano
Riverside County
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
"I chose the category of justice because of my personal experiences relating to being treated differently. , Seeing other people of color being treated poorly and noticing them having to change many things about themselves. What I learned about this project is that there are many people can look different from each other but still have...

Saving Everyone

Honorable Mention - April 2021 Prompt: "Hope for Change"
2021
Artist: Natalie Alawi
Riverside County
Grade: 8
David A Brown Middle School
Advisor: Amy Pitotti
Over the past year I've experienced many changes in who I am. I am an incredibly social person, and suddenly I found myself alone and without a way to connect with people. My art highlights two characters, LadyBug and Cat Noir. They are kind and generous, and they never leave people out. I wanted to express...

Your Not Alone

2021
Artist: Zaiah Shepherd
Riverside County
Grade: 6
Riverside Behavioral Health Department
Advisor: Jennifer Simpson
In my drawing shows a mind with a corrupted glitch showing that we struggle with mental health and the sayings your not alone were here don’t give up because many people who struggle with mental health feel they are alone when millions of people go through the same thing

The pandemic does affect Asians

2021
Artist: Giselle Olario Olmos
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High school
Advisor: Jessica Valencia
My entry is about racism against people of color, what asians have to go through, and how non colored people have a better privilege than people of color.

Leading On Others

2021
Artist: Fatima Raygoza
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
My submission is about people leading on other people into the light or the dark. What this means is that the light is happiness and kindness and the dark is sadness and discouragement.

Flowers of Gratitude

2021
Artist: Shayla Luong
Riverside County
Grade: 8
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
Flowers hold significant meanings, from love, joy, loss, grief, freedom, and gratitude. In my culture, you gift someone flowers to show that you're thankful for what they've done. My entry depicts a man holding flowers, with a white dialogue box underneath that says "Thank you," which hints the viewer towards the message and theme of gratitude....

The Eye of Gratitude

2021
Artist: Angeline Smith
Riverside County
Grade: 6
Mountain View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
I created an eye with everything i'm grateful for like my family, my pets, my friends, food, a home, trees, the earth, exercising, money, my education, and Jesus. I made this because I though it was very creative and unique. A new thing that I learned while working on this was that I really got to...

Grateful from Within

2021
Artist: Angelo Augustin O. Bustos
Riverside County
Grade: 7
Mountian View Middle School
Advisor: Noal Garrett
My submission is a double exposure on adobe photoshop. Its about me being happy and glad about my culture. I tried to add as much as I could to show the great things about my culture. Im most grateful for my culture because it allows me to know where me and my family come from. There...
2020

Real Life Hero’s

2020
Artist: Jordan Meza
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Sandra Meza
Heroes don't always look like Superman, Wonder Woman, or Iron Man, they can work in hospitals, fire departments, or even classrooms. With all the negativity around the world, we all deserve a hero. We need someone to give us inspiration and hope. Whoever your hero might be, whether it's your mom, dad, or someone who you...

Pandemic Hope

2020
Artist: Hrutu Desai
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Hiral Desai
I decided to do this because it shows how this pandemic has hit everyone hard, but we will get through it.

Justice For Farmers

2020
Artist: Sukhman Kndola
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jessica Valencia
I chose this because my grandpas are farmers

No Justice No Peace

2020
Artist: Melody Vargas
Riverside County
Grade: 9
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Advisor: Jessica Valencia
I personally chose this category to spread awareness for those who have to feel the things that they are feeling right now, and just to show that if POC don't get justice, we as a supporter and/or members of the community, will not stay quiet.