San Diego 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.
2024

I’m Sorry to Bother You

Third Place Monthly Prompt - High School
2024
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 12
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Holly Emmert
I wrote about the worries of a person in need. I wrote what they think or might be thinking when they ask for help.

I Wish

Second Place Tied Monthly Prompt - PSAs, Original Music, Podcasts, and Written Work - High School and College
2024
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 12
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Holly Emmert
My poem addresses the universal theme of the accepting mistakes and the burden of perfection, as well as expressing a desire for reassurance and care. I wanted to capture the delicate balance between vulnerability and strength while emphasizing the power of communication and understanding in fostering meaningful connections.
2023

Embrace the Light Within

First Place Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 11
Advisor: Holly Emmert
My entry is a poetic journey through the complex and often challenging landscape of mental health. It begins in the quiet recesses of the mind, acknowledging the intricate and vast nature of one's inner world. […] The poem concludes with a poignant call to embrace both the journey and the fight, acknowledging the resilience and beauty...

A Walk in the Garden

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Original Music
2023
Artist: Carrianne Bee
San Diego County
Grade: 9
Advisor: Michelle Tolvo-Chan
Writing and playing music allows me to feel at peace. It allows me to connect to my true self and to God. When I play, there is a sense of peace, and wholeness that allows me to keep going without a sense of doubt or negativity. Music, I find therapeutic. Let’s say I feel stressed. I...

S.T.O.P

Second Place Monthly Prompt - Film & Written Works
2023
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 11
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Holly Emmert
“I wanted to emphasize the importance of the beauty of nature. There's so much tranquility in our world, and I know that if we took the time to appreciate it, the calamity of our problems would seem like a star in space [by] comparison.”

To be Okay

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Written Works
2023
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 10
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
In this entry, I was hoping to convey a sense of anxiety, struggle, and the difficulty of maintaining a facade of happiness despite inner turmoil. I wanted to show different signs of struggles as everyone has their own. I hope for people to see themselves in my entry and to be able to seek the help...

You matter

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Written Works
2023
Artist: Eloise herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 8
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Belinda herrera
This writing is dedicated to my mothers friend. My mothers friend has a daughter and she has cancer. I hope she sees this. I want her to know that she is not alone and she does not have to hide her feelings.

Will you braid the Earth’s hair, too?

Honorable Mention April Hope and Justice
2023
Artist: Anonymous
San Diego County
Grade: College
This piece is a celebration of Earth and our relationship with it. Our relationship to the Earth is integral to how we can hope for better and even do better-- to recognize that we are connected. There is no us without the Earth and there could potentially be no Earth without us in the future. I...

Our Responsibility to the Earth

Honorable Mention April Monthly Prompt
2023
Artist: Joy Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 11
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
In this entry, I wanted to discuss how we can best take care of the earth and how our planet is our biggest responsibility. I chose this category because I'm concerned about the welfare of not only the people and animals on Earth, but the planet herself. I feel we've hurt her too much and it...

Ode to Earth

Second Place - Tied April Monthly Prompt
2023
Artist: Eloise Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 8
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
In this submission, I wrote an Ode to Earth, hoping to let my audience know just how sorry I am for the mistakes of humanity done to earth. Through this poem, I am apologizing for the many mistakes I made so carelessly that led to the downfall of our planet and how I'd like to fix...

Colors of Mexico

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Visual Art - Middle School 
2023
Artist: Aylee Martinez
San Diego County
Grade: 6
Gompers Preparatory Academy
Advisor: Elvira Barajas
To start off with My name is Aylee Martinez and I chose to use canva and I decided to show on my project the even if your Any different culture or race that you shouldn't try to be any different race or culture just because you're in embarrassed.So,I wanted to show that even if any race,you're...

Frida Khalo

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Visual Art - Middle School 
2023
Artist: Samantha Villanueva
San Diego County
Grade: 6
Gompers Preparatory Academy
Advisor: Elvira Barajas
My art entry is a picture that honors Frida Kahlo. She was really special because even though she had a lot of problems when she was young, she grew up to be a famous artist. My picture shows how amazing she was and how she showed that you can be many things at once. I want...

First I’m Human

First Place Monthly Prompt - Film and Written Works
2023
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 10
Sweetwater Secondary School
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
In this submission, I wanted to show how I can be more than one especially if it involves my race. I'm Mexican-American and have always been torn apart by both nationalities and I wanted to express how it impacts me and how I feel about it.

A Fresh Start

Third Place - Tied Monthly Prompt
2023
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 10
Sweetwater Secondary School
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
“In this entry, I opened a veil that concealed the events that drowned humanity in despair. I wanted to show the cuts we were given as well as the band-aids we put on. In this entry, I reviewed the events of 2020 and how they impacted children like me. While 2020 was a rough year, it...
2022

The Hero in You

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Film and Written Works
2022
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 10
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
This piece is a poem that shows how a person's negative feelings only dig them deeper. but I also wanted to show that our confidence and our positivity lifts us even higher. I wanted to show everyone that we are our own heroes, even when we don't feel like it.

Save Yourself

Honorable Mention Monthly Prompt - Film and Written Works
2022
Artist: Anonymous
San Diego County
I decided to write about this entry because I think it's important to have plenty of awareness towards mental health. I found it a bit easy to write about this since my community brings a lot of awareness to mental health and tries to help us with it by providing resources for us. I tried to...

Reggie; Our Mentor

Second Place - Tied Monthly Prompt - Art
2022
Artist: Sierra Mercedes Adele Craft Wiseman and Andrew Alexander Hermosillo
San Diego County
Grade: 12
General Raymond Murray High School
Advisor: Beatriz Barrón
Reggie is the CEO/founder of Project Aware, a program that helps kids learn to cope with their emotions. There are thousands of things I could say about this amazing man. He’s done so much for me and my partner, we’ve learned so much about not only ourselves, but others. We’ve learned to be more emphatic, more...

Callused Hands

First Place Monthly Prompt - Film and Written Works
2022
Artist: Joslyn Herrera
San Diego County
Grade: 10
Sweetwater Secondary
Advisor: Jennifer Cammack
This entry is a dedication to my mom. I wanted to tell the story of her struggles and how much I really appreciate her. Her selflessness is something I want to carry with me as I grow older. And I hope that others can take away something greater from this: You can tell a lot about...

Justice for Hope

Honorable Mention Hope and Justice
2022
Artist: Jackson Ellis
San Diego County
Grade: 9
Helix Charter High School
Advisor: Alondra Lopez-Barajas
I drew this during the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID lockdown. It gave my little sister and I the chance to spend time together and bond during a challenging time. Being black myself, I learned that my life may be more difficult and different than others around me who may not experience the same bias...

Focus On You!

3rd place May 2022 Monthly Prompt “Dear Me”
2022
Artist: Diana Butchert
San Diego County
Grade: 8
Emerald Middle School
Advisor: Ashley Maher
My drawing represents an image of me reading and drinking water which shows how I am taking care of myself to cope with mental health. I have a dog named Benji on my side with the Mental Health Awareness Green Ribbon around his neck to represent how much my dog has increased my happiness. While taking...

“Burned Out”

3rd Place Monthly Prompt April - Cannabis Decoded
2022
Artist: Sara Croll
San Diego County
Grade: 7
Rancho Minerva
Advisor: Beth Duncan
"Burned Out" tells the story of two childhood friends, one healthy and happy, and the other under the influence of cannabis. Their relationship used to be filled with trust, good health, and love. Things changed when one made positive decisions about her life, and the other succumbed to peer pressure and started using weed. Under-aged cannabis...

Black Lives Matter

2nd place Justice - March 2022
2022
Artist: Meliya Russom
San Diego County
Grade: 12
The Preuss School
Advisor: Amanda Torre
I wrote this poem after the murder of George Floyd and the rise in the Black Lives Matter movements across the US. I decided to write a poem because it is a very expressive form of literal arts. When writing essays, we are always taught to be formal and objective, but in this poem I was...

Hope to Hug

January Hope 2nd Place
2022
Artist: Sara Croll
San Diego County
Grade: 7
Rancho Minerva Middle School
Advisor: Beth Duncan 
2021 was a year without hugs. It denied us of smiles, and it denied us the ability to personally connect with one another. This new year I hope to see hugs- and with it, happiness for myself, for my friends and family, and for my community. Hugs are warm and comforting- and I hope that soon,...
2021

Hope Within My Walls

2021
Artist: Brittney Ruby Duran
San Diego County
Grade: College Freshman
California State University of San Marcos
Advisor: Danielle McMartin
My visual art is a representation of how I find hope and brightness in today's events. I feel safe and hopeful within a creative environment. I love to paint and sing along all types of music because they're platforms that unite all people. It connects us, just like the internet. Because of the pandemic, we seem...

This is 2020

Honorable Mention January 2021 - Hope and Justice
2021
Artist: Taravat Mansournia
San Diego County
Grade: 10
Point Loma High School
Advisor: Katereh Mirza
Every human being in the year 2020 has felt the wide effects of injustice and hopelessness, and I wanted to write something that I can look look back on if ever we do move forward from 2020.

Not Enough

2021
Artist: Abigail Liao
San Diego County
Grade: 9
Torrey Pines High School
Advisor: Katie O'Brien
Through social media, peers, and ourselves, we often fall into a loop of our appearance, being controlled by our looks and body shape. I often hear people say that they are "not enough" of this and that, which leads to a mindset that is only focused on looks. Adding some elements of self-image, the person that...

Alive Again

3rd place April 2021 Montly Prompt: "Hope for Change"
2021
Artist: Katrina Matic
San Diego County
Grade: 11
Torrey Pines Highschool
Advisor: Dragana Matic
Since the young age of eleven, mental health has been a large impacter in my life. I didn't plan on making it to sixteen. That was never my plan. There was no way I would let myself continue living this life full of emotional torment. Something switched this past year in my mind, however. I didn't...

Family is my Hope

Honorable Mention April 2021 Montly Prompt: "Hope for Change"
2021
Artist: Cristo Juarez
San Diego County
Grade: 8
Rancho Minerva Middle School
Advisor: Beth Duncan
My submission relates to hope because it represents what has helped me and been there for me through the difficult changes this past year. It's what matters the most to me. Reaching for the green ribbon represents what I keep on going for what gives me motivation to keep on pushing forward. My family is my...

Seasons of Change

Honorable Mention April 2021 Montly Prompt: "Hope for Change"
2021
Artist: Daniela Carrasco
San Diego County
Grade: 7
Rancho Minerva Middle School
Advisor: Beth Duncan
Like flowers growing back after a hard winter, we will also come back after experiencing the stress of a global pandemic. As flowers represent new beginnings and springtime, the green ribbon represents new hope and the promise of positive change.

#HopeforChange

Honorable Mention April 2021 Montly Prompt: "Hope for Change"
2021
Artist: Kimberly Gomez
San Diego County
Grade: 8
Rancho Minerva Middle School
Advisor: Beth Duncan
The concept of growth and change is a desire to become a better version of yourself. Growth in yourself leads you to new opportunities, opportunities that don't come about until you grow and change into the person who is ready for them. Also as you grow and evolve, you learn to adjust changes in yourself. Some...

Embrace

2021
Artist: Maggie Cesarini
San Diego County
Grade: 12
Torrey Pines High School
Advisor: Katie O’brien
“A single, overworked father contemplates his gratitude for his good fortune amid relentless uncertainty, as he whispers to his child: ‘Let compassion always guide you on your journey.’’’

Parents

2021
Artist: Julia Liu
San Diego County
Grade: 11
Torrey Pines High School
Advisor: Mengping Ou
“My piece is a traditional Chinese brush painting on rice paper. I focused on the importance of hair, which is significant in showing who I am, and my identity as an Asian American. Confucius believed that hair is gifted by parents. With this idea in mind, I chose to connect the hairs of my parents to...

Hope Poem

November Hope and Justice Honorable Mention
2021
Artist: Sophia Rodriguez
San Diego County
San Ysidro High School
Advisor: Lolit Romero

The Cat

2021
Artist: Nathalia Wittlin
San Diego County
Grade: 12
Torrey Pines High School
Advisor: Jose Paulo Wittlin
In my artwork, I incorporated the world throughout the vision of a black cat. The people looking out of the art piece are the viewers that can only see half of a man's body, focusing only on the cat and the butterfly. Since we cannot see much of the man, we look directly at them. I...

Relief for the Chained

2021
Artist: Nivi Chozhan
San Diego County
Grade: 9
Torrey Pines High School
Advisor: Alli Chozhan
My painting shows the injustice within the world and a dove is blooming out of the center of the earth. People are kind people as long as we try to be. Sadly, colored people are generally oppressed which is why the arms supporting the earth is a brown color. The shards of the earth is also...