Programs + Events

Award of Excellence – Middle School Division: Grades 6-8

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Reflections Art Program Award of Excellence Middle School Division recipients!


“Freedom” by Islelamia Bruner

Mountainview Elementary School, Grade 6
Thirty-Fourth District PTA

“I Matter Because this year has been a struggle for my culture. The Hate that we are given, has torn me apart. I just want this dance to let people know that we won’t go silent until our voices are heard. Let this dance give a message of where we have come from and we have always stood for Freedom. All lives do matter, but we are not added to that equation all the time. We won’t go silent.”


“I Matter Because I’m Me” by Hailey Johnston

Nick G. Parras Middle School, Grade 7
Thirty-Third District PTA

“I Matter Because is a question you ask yourself all the time but you don’t have to have a reason. You matter because you are you and THAT is what matters.”


“Equity, Equality, Discord and Disunity” by Amira Olin

Walter Reed Middle School, Grade 6
Thirty-First District PTA

“This poem expresses the importance of not allowing race, color, image, gender and other differences separate or hinder us individually and as a group. It urges us to speak up and standup for what is right or what we believe in. We should all strive for equality, inclusivity and equity for a better society because we are all of one world. I matter because I represent society in a world full of disparity. I matter because I exist. I matter because we matter!”

To view a larger version of this poem, click here.


“Mosaic” by Evelyn Sugapong

Bonita Vista Middle School, Grade 8
Ninth District PTA

“Mosaic means a ‘decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns.’ All the diverse, colorful, and varied pieces of a mosaic are exactly what makes a mosaic so beautiful. The word “mosaic” inspired me to create a music composition on the theme “I Matter Because…” to represent how a symphony of different instruments with distinctive qualities blend together harmoniously. In society, each individual person is like a piece of a mosaic. Everyone is special and unique and everyone can make a beautiful contribution to the world. Our differences make us valued and important.”

Click here to listen to Evelyn’s music.


“Mitakuye Oyasin” by Lukas Shen

Foothills Middle School, Grade 6
First District PTA

“‘Mitakuye Oyasin’ is a phrase from the Lakota language that my dad introduced me to. It means “we are all related”. I was looking through a photography magazine, and I saw a picture of a Native American with war paint. I created a graphic of different colored lines, each representing a different ethnicity. With a black background behind me, I projected the graphic on my gace and used a remote to take this self portrait. We’re all related because all ethnicities make up the human race. We don’t need to do anything to matter. We matter simply because we exist.”

To see a larger version of this photograph, click here.


“Because I Love You” by Marilyn Jia

Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, Grade 8
Thirty-Second District PTA

“I remember when I first heard this year’s prompt, my dad looked at me immediately. Because you are my daughter, he said. You matter. I wanted to use the flowers in my artwork to represent the pieces of other people that we carry with us, the values that we have learned from our loved ones. We all impact each other, from my parents who traveled across the world for me to strangers walking by. I love someone, and someone loves me. We are all connected – this is why we all matter, and it is enough.”

To see a larger version of this piece, click here.