February was Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and in support of healthy dating relationships, Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) called upon creative Houston area students to enter the “Young Hearts Matter” Art & Writing Challenge. It was a chance for Houston youth to write and create art and share it with the community.
Students in junior high and high school were asked to use their artistic abilities to create an original poem, essay, sculpture, drawing, painting, or other creative piece that expressed their views on the characteristics of either a healthy or an unhealthy teen relationship.
The winning works from these talented students were revealed at a viewing party and reception at NAM on Tuesday, March 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The students were honored and received a certificate along with their prize. The writing and art pieces will be on display in NAM’s lobby through March 29, during regular business hours Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“We want to thank all of the schools and students in the community who participated in this challenge,” said Sheryl Johnson, Director of NAM’s Family Violence Center. “It was a difficult decision for the judges because there are so many talented, young writers and artists in our community,” she continued.
Congratulations to all of the winners from NAM’s 3rd Annual Art & Writing Challenge promoting Teen Dating Violence Awareness.
Winners in the Art Category:
- Laurel Anfrom – 1st place – Middle School Art
- Precious Davidson – 2nd Place – High School Art
- Gabriella Romero – 1st Place – High School Art
Winners in the Writing Category:
- Ashlyn Long – 1st Place – High School Writing
- Nolan Butler – 2nd Place – High School Writing
- Nolan Butler – 3rd Place – High School Writing
- Aaliyah Ibarra- 3rd Place – High School Writing
- Jariel Carter – Honorable Mention – High School Writing
- Aaliyah Foster – 1st Place – Middle School Writing
- Sidney Brumley – 2nd Place – Middle School Writing
The Family Violence Center is dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence by assisting victims of domestic and sexual violence through crisis intervention, long-term support services, and through community violence and awareness prevention education. In the fiscal year 2017-2018, the FVC received more than 8,300 hotline calls from victims in crisis and individuals seeking assistance. They also offer year-round programs, workshops and different events that bring awareness to the domestic violence problem in the area.