Programs + Events

Middle School: Grades 6-8

Congratulations to the California 2019 Reflections Art Program Award of Excellence recipients!


“Strong Enough” by Aubrie Stoehr

  • California Outstanding Interpretation Winner
  • Grade: 8
  • Margarita Middle School
  • Twenty-Third District PTA

“Heroes aren’t always obvious. They don’t always wear a badge or teach a classroom of students. We don’t always recognize the impact they make. In my eyes, heroes are willing to do whatever they can to help their fellow man. In the last few years, many of our family’s friends have opened their arms to fostering and adopting children. They have opened their homes and hearts to those who need love the most. These friends are the ones that are “strong enough” and they have inspired my choreography. These are the Heroes Around Me.”

film production

“Heroes In and Around Me” by Shaurya Mahajan

  • Grade: 8
  • Sam Lawson Middle School
  • Sixth District PTA

“This film goes over a very important and sensitive time period of my life. It helped me realize a lot of things, but most importantly helped me find the hero in me! In conclusion, I ask everyone watching the video to look for the heroes around and within themselves.”


“It All Begins With One” by Zaee Shah

  • Grade: 7
  • Bowditch Middle School
  • Seventeenth District PTA

“There are a chosen minority of people who get the credit for heroism – and it is well deserved. However they are not the only heroes in a community. It is the people around us – the friends, neighbors, amiable strangers that are the unsung heroes from the shadows, the ones that hold up the pillars of society.”

Read Zaee’s literature here.

Music COmposition

“The Calling” by Laili Aissi

  • California Outstanding Interpretation Winner
  • Grade: 7
  • Las Flores Middle School
  • Fourth District PTA

“It was the usual sunny California morning when suddenly the wildfires invaded our serene neighborhood. A gigantic mushroom cloud appeared in the sky while beneath it, the blazing fires swiftly devoured everything. People were overwhelmed with fear. The firemen’s quick intervention gave hope to people that things will be OK. Working beyond exhaustion, they unselfishly saved people’s home and lives, while risking their own . These are the heroes I honor, which starts by depicting a regular day before the fires struck and as the music accelerates, the firemen rushed to extinguish them, leading to the music winding down.”

Listen to Laili’s music here.


“Heroes Live On” by Joshua Cortez

  • California Outstanding Interpretation Winner
  • Grade: 8
  • Las Palmas Middle School
  • First District PTA


“The work relates to the theme because my grandpa (the man in the picture) is really a hero around me. My grandpa served many years in the Marine Corp and fought for our country. He is part of my life everyday and walks among us every day. My grandpa encourages me to try my best. He helps me get through hard times and can make a bad day, a good one. I look up to him and see him, not just a hero to the United States, but a hero to me. A hero around me.”


“Blind: Notice, Remember, Appreciate” by Katelyn Chen

  • Grade: 7
  • Oak Valley Middle School
  • Ninth District PTA

“This drawing is surrounded by darkness because that’s all the blind woman can see. Light shines upon the dog, to depict through the murky depths, there’s a companion right ahead of her. Whether it’s the darkness in a person’s blind eyes, the eternal silence, or the disability of physically moving, there’s a hero saving them, hidden in the crowded streets and quiet homes. We may not acknowledge them at first, but being trained their entire lives, these loyal guides dedicate themselves to saving people in need. Unlike other heroes, service dogs spend EVERY second helping others, but remain unsung heroes.”