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Student’s Artwork Promotes Lions Club Peace Essay Contest

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When the Spring Hill Nature Coast Lions Club agreed to host the Hernando and Pasco divisions of Dare to Dream: The 2023 Lions International Peace Essay Contest, they opted to promote the contest with a poster boasting a relevant and exquisite image, one that also bespeaks the concept of peace as seen through the eyes of a child.

Indeed, the club’s Peace Essay Contest flyer features the artwork of Sarah Nguyen, a 13-year-old student at Challenger K8, who participated in the Lions Peace Poster Contest, also themed “Dare to Dream,” last spring. She scored an honorable mention in the 2023 poster contest.

“I didn’t have a specific direction for my poster; I just put multiple concepts into one design. If I were to describe it, I’d say that it’s a peace-inspired artwork that represents the world as a whole. Every country and every race—it doesn’t matter who,” she said. “The woman in the middle is a representation of the universe, and behind her is a close-up of the Earth and its residents.”

Nguyen is proud and pleased that her artistic creation has been chosen to promote and illustrate the mission of the peace essay contest.

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“I used markers, colored pencils, and pens to make my poster,” she said. “I was very excited to learn that my work had been chosen to represent the peace essay contest. I was happy to share the news with my family when I got home from school.”

At the tender age of 13 years, Nguyen has already established a reputation as a longstanding, award-winning artist.

“Ever since I was five, I’ve been interested in art,” she said. “It is a fun way to express myself. My favorite type of art to create is an animated style. I received an honorable mention last year at the Hernando County Fine Arts Council’s Art in The Park for one of my pieces.”

In the future, Nguyen hopes to continue her artistic pursuits.”What I would like to do in the future is unclear to me so far,” she said, “but I hope that art will be an important part of it.”

Jennifer Radtke, a Middle School Art teacher at Challenger K8, guides Nguyen’s creative efforts in the classroom, molding a talent that she sees as worthy of the honors she accrues. “I was pleased to find out that Sarah’s artwork had been chosen to promote the peace essay poster. She is an amazing student who takes pride in her work, and it was fantastic to hear that she would be recognized for it outside of the classroom,” said Radtke. “The opportunity to share their work with the public and receive recognition helps motivate young artists. It gives them a platform to creatively express themselves and inspire others. They must develop their skills and their style. Winning awards and being recognized build their confidence. My class bulletin boards highlight career possibilities for artists, and I feel like it exposes them to the many ways that art can be incorporated into their future. We are fortunate to have so many amazing artists at our school!”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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