Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center students got to express their artistic talent for a new calendar while helping get the message out on the dangers of vaping.
A collaboration between Clark County Partners in Prevention (CCPIP) and the Clark County Combined Health District Tobacco Task Force (CCCHD) sponsored a contest requesting the students to create campaigns to show why vaping is risky, especially to teens.
It resulted in 36 entrants, and 13 were chosen to represent the campaign, a cover and one for each month, on the calendar, which is out now and available for free.
Many of the students, their families, members of both groups and other guests attended a release party and awards ceremony at Clark State Community College on Dec. 16. The students received cash prizes, donated by Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll.
The calendar serves a dual purpose – as a tool to educate the community on the risks of vaping and to celebrate the work the students from CTC’s digital media and computer graphics design classes.
The images run from factual to surreal, from frightening to humorous, all with the message from students to their peers or anyone who vapes. Carey McKee of CCPIP said youths are more likely to listen to their peers, which is why the students were selected to create the messaging.
“We’re very excited for this opportunity to collaborate and to celebrate our youth sharing this very important message, which is for everyone,” she said.
Gracie Hemphill of CCCHD helped secure a tobacco youth prevention grant through the task force and reached out to CTC teachers Mary Leonard and Linda Cabaluna. Cabaluna said she’s seen students get suspended for vaping and the project would benefit the participants in multiple ways.
“Any time the kids can get something in print that can go in their portfolio is good for them,” Cabaluna said. “I didn’t have to guide them a lot.”
Some painted their submissions and others did theirs through computer programs.
“We’re really excited with how it came out,” Hemphill said.
Driscoll said every day his office sees interaction with young people on the wrong side of the law, and this was a great chance to be proactive against that.
“This really spoke to me. I’ve worked with the Partners in Prevention and any time you can work with youth that’s a good thing,” he said, adding he has three children he wants that message to reach.
The contest was judged mostly by students and a few adults. There was a top three and 13 all earned prizes.
Victoria Baylor, a junior computer graphic arts student, took first place and earned the calendar cover with her submission, “Press Pause on Vaping,” with the tag “E-cigs are ruining your life,” inspired by a song, “E-Girls Are Ruining My Life.”
Baylor’s design depicts an emo girl and has “lyrics” in the form of facts about e-cigarettes.
Baylor, who aspires to design album covers, said the class project spoke to her as she doesn’t have any vices and believes in the message. And she wants to set a good example for her little sister.
“I was in shock,” she said of being told of her win. “I thought how is this possible?”
Second place went to Madisen Pinkston and third to Ti’Aunta Owens. Other placers were Jocelyn Allen, Bailey Baker, Clifton Cowart, Isagrario Gramajo, Emerson Kilburn, Cassandra Lovelock, Jadelynn Pence, Emily St. Pierre, Kaitlyn Stultz and William Wilson.
In the spirit of the season of giving, Baylor gave her Clark State credit hour points she’d earned to second-place finisher Pinkston.
Baker, a senior, went for a comical effect, depicting a shadowy person being chased by one-eyed puff bars. She worked in the Illustrator program and it took about a week.
Ironically, she grew up in a family of smokers and never wanted any part of it, even getting her boyfriend to quit. But she also knows how easy it is to obtain e-cigarettes and how they appeal to her peers.
“I never want to put my family through that,” said Baker.
That’s the message McKee and Hemphill want to send to everyone on the risks of vaping, no matter their ages.
“We want to raise awareness and prevention in our community,” McKee said.
The calendars will be distributed to several area schools. The organizations want to do a similar contest annually each fall using a variety of grants and funding.
To obtain a calendar, contact Leslie Hoylman at email@example.com. The images will also be on the CCCHD and CCPIP’s social media pages.
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