Each year, Placenta-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) middle and high school students have the opportunity to participate in the Chapman University Holocaust Remembrance Art and Writing Contest. The theme of this year’s contest was “Sharing Strength, Sustaining Humanity.” Students participate in this contest from across the world.
To participate in the contest, PYLUSD students conducted research on the Holocaust and World War II. Each student was instructed to listen to the testimony of a Holocaust survivor or rescuer while thinking about that individual’s motivation in telling their story. Then, they were tasked with creating a piece of art or writing that retold and reflected upon the individual’s experience.
For many year, PYLUSD has been distinguished as a part of the competition as students from all middle and high school sites participate. This year was no exception and notably, six students were identified as competition finalists and two were dubbed contest winners!
This year’s PYLUSD award winners include Coral Hsu (pictured above) from Bernardo Yorba Middle School. She earned 2nd Place in Middle School Poetry for her piece titled “Wings That Embraced.” Her teacher is Amy DeFriese. Additionally, Kristi Ikemoto (pictured below) from Yorba Linda High School earned 1st place in High School Prose for her submission titled, “Alone But Together.” Her teacher is Richard Cadra.
Other competition finalists include Allison Risner, Middle School Art (Kraemer Middle School, Teacher Michelle Steuber); Zoey Rodriguez, Middle School Film (Travis Ranch School, Teacher Kimberly Carlos); Giselle Mendez, High School Film (Buena Vista Virtual Academy, Teacher Dana Leon); Inyasa Smith, High School Film (Yorba Linda High School, Teacher Richard Cadra).
Award winners and finalists were announced during a virtual ceremony held by Chapman University on Friday, March 12. Congratulations, PYLUSD students!