Human Rights Advisory Commission announces student winners for Creative Expression Contest

by: TIMES PHOTO/SHANNON O. WELLS - Students from Mrs. Krueger's fifth grade class at Sexton Mountain Elementary School present  'Reaching for our Rights,' the mixed-media artwork that won them a runner-up award in the Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission's Creative Expression Contest. Winners of the 2014 contest were announced at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle and the Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission announced the student winners for the 2014 Human Rights Creative Expression Contest during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

The nine winning entries are on display outside the mayor's office for three weeks. The work will also be showcased at various public events around the city and accessible on the commission's Creative Expression Contest webpage at

Here are this year's winners, listed by category:

Elementary School:

• First place — "I Wanted to Change the World" (painting) by Kayla Rodrigues from Arco Iris Spanish Immersion Charter School, fifth grade

• Runner-up — "Reaching for our Rights" (mixed media art work) by Mrs. Krueger's fifth grade class from Sexton Mountain Elementary School

• Runner-up — "Human Rights" (poem) by Nikhar Khamesra from Elmonica Elementary School, second grade

Middle School:

• First place — "Human Rights" (video) by Grace Tran from Stoller Middle School, seventh grade

• Runner-up — "Noise" (essay) by Juliette Ball from Mountain View Middle School, eighth grade

• Runner-up — "In a Perfect World" (essay) by the MAPS Club from Mountain View Middle School, grades sixth through eighth

High School:

• First place — "Sword Hangs Over Our Heads" (essay) by Sadaf Khan from International School of Beaverton, 10th grade

• Runner-up — "Letter to Father" (essay) by Samantha Bowen from International School of Beaverton, 10th grade

• Runner-up — "We Are All Human" (poster) by Vicki Lee from Southridge High School, 11th grade

Participants were required to share their feelings, opinions, experiences and ideas about the importance of human and civil rights in a variety of ways through painting, drawing, song, poetry, performance piece, movie, photo essay, written essays or any other art medium.

"It's so rewarding that even after ten years of the Creative Expression Contest, we still receive unique portrayals of each year's theme," said Esther Griffin, commission chairwoman. "It's also promising that students convey they understand the harmful effects of bullying and express how they can improve in their treatment of others."

The commission's mission is to safeguard the rights of all citizens and promote mutual understanding by helping citizens and Beaverton's local government embrace and celebrate diversity, eliminate bigotry and enhance a sense of community, Griffin noted. The commission is involved in a number of programs that promote basic human rights in the community, including the annual Human Rights Award and Creative Expression Contest.

"It's wonderful to see students understand the importance of civil and human rights," Doyle said. "Their submissions show their willingness to break down barriers to create an open and accepting community."

A copy of each contest submission will also be available to view in the Beaverton City Library's Young Adult Room at 12375 S.W. Fifth Street.

For more information, contact Griffin at 503-526-2569.

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