Above the Influence in Morgan County
by Shamus Cleveland, Program Facilitator for the Morgan County Partnership
The Morgan County Partnership held its first annual “Above the Influence” Art and Writing contest in the Fall of 2012. Above the Influence is a Nation-Wide Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign that inspires youth to talk about how they deal with the influences that help shape their decisions. The goal is to give youth another perspective on how to stand up to negative pressures or influences in their lives.
October 18, 2012 kicked off the Above the Influence in Morgan County campaign by holding two creative contests for grades 6-12. The first contest was a Youth Expressions Art Project where students designed their own creative expression using the Above the Influence “arrow” logo. Students were asked to base their design and integration on how they stand up to negative pressures, think critically about substance abuse, reject negative influences and embrace positive influences in their lives. A total of 152 entries were turned in to the Partnership.
The second contest was a Creative Writing competition that asked students to creatively express their views on positive and negative influences in their lives, and how they stay “above them.” Stories, poems, plays and other types of creative writings were all collected, totaling 148 entries turned in.
Through funds from the WV NYLI (National Youth Leadership Initiative), first, second and third place winners received gift cards, a Morgan County Partnership t-shirt, and an award certificate. The Art Contest winners of the high school age bracket were: Kyleen Kelley (first place), Kati LaRue (second place), and Emily Defibaugh (third place). The Art Contest winners of the middle school age bracket were: Payton Brown (first place) and Abi Hovermale (second place).
The Creative Writing Contest winners for the high school age bracket were: Rebecca Montague (first place) and Catherine Watson (second place). The Creative Writing winners for the middle school age bracket were: Catherine Myers (first place) and Hannah Salman (second place).
The winners of the contest will have their art or creative writing entries posted on the Partnership website as well as its Facebook page. To learn more about the Above the Influence Campaign contact the Morgan County Partnership at 304-258-7807.