Search for Compassion

“My entry shows my experience as a student who has to attend high school on a tele-conferencing robot because of my disability. The scenes show every day life with the robot at school. The robot is always alone, with crowds of students passing by without acknowledging me. I would like to advocate for other students to show compassion for myself and other kids and teens who deal with disabilities.”

Made Not Born

“When I asked my class what word described their vision of Mental Health at our school, they all thought of the same thing. At our school they are leaders – they promote Mental Health – offer help and assistance to anyone that needs it – they are aware and feel responsible. They have learned from their partnership with Directing Change and RCOE that the future is up to them! We have to work together within our school and our community to bring awareness and help to those that need it… that requires leadership.”

The Importance of Respect

“Our word for this month’s prompt is ‘Respect’ to describe the world we envision that supports youth mental health. There are multiple ways of showing respect and it all comes down to each and everyone of us.”


“Belief has the power to change your whole outlook of your situation.”


“The painting was done with watercolor first, a medium often associated with tranquility and contentment. The colored pencil on top is scratchy and messy, symbolizing feelings of unease and anxiety. The subject looks away and pulls their hair back to reveal flowers stemming from a scab on her scalp. I’ve always struggled with anxiety physically and mentally. I have a tendency to pick at my scalp whenever I feel anxious, and I wanted to illustrate it in this painting. Watercolors are a familiar medium to me, whereas colored pencils are newer. The red columbine flowers in this painting symbolize anxiety but also fortitude. The person faces the flowers in the background, looking toward a hopeful future.”


“Mysteries is about a mystery that haunts some of the minds of today, it is a lesser known mystery but a mystery.”


“My entry is a poem. It is about on protests that starts with a meaning but slowly it loses its definition. I want to give an insight on my frustration on those protests. There’s no specific protest I’m talking about. I will be talking about how protests start off with a meaning and a demand for a specific change, but that meaning slowly rots away when people who don’t understand the movement join in.”


“Mental health challenges can be crushing. And the only way out is to get yourself out of that deep, dark hole and rise above it. This work portrays what teenagers need in order to make that step. They need to be able to see that light and that there is a better place after they overcome darkness. If they don’t see the point of persevering against their troubles, they can’t muster the courage to even reach the surface. Thus, the light shining down on this girl surrounded by darkness shows the importance of hope in a person’s world.”

Warmth of a Community

“In my painting, I wanted to represent hope in a community. The community is represented through warm colors. This gives the idea of a warm and welcoming community. These people are happy and willing to help others in need. Then we have someone who suffers from mental health issues. They are represented with cool colors. The idea behind this is that the darkness surrounds the person to the point where it feels suffocating. I wanted to represent mental health issues in this way because if a person doesn’t reach out for help, whether it’s in a community or just a singular person, one can struggle so much to the point where it feels like they are trapped in the darkness.”

As we rise

“Plastic is a material widely recognized as a danger to our Earth, and yet, as the Pandemic took over, plastic entwined itself into every new norm in our lives quickly becoming the very material we would communicate through. Digital media removed our masks, a safe space behind a screen, showing us our voices cannot be stifled. Not now. Basic human rights have been ignored, and trampled upon, in crises. Access. Access to medicine, vaccines, equity, equality. Much like the plastics churning in the ocean, issues rose to the surface, swollen from pain, and humans chose to speak up. We stepped away from our screens and into the streets and we marched. We marched for our lives, for our rights, for love, and for equity. A new sun, toxic rays of light begging for attention. We cannot forget what we have gone through for change to happen. This virus, touches everyone, everything. Six feet apart. They stand, masked, determined, and even when they crumble, they won’t stop. They will never go away. Plastic.”