Winners of Daughters Lives Matter Essay Contest Announced at Youth Art Exhibit


Winners of Daughters Lives Matter Essay Contest Announced at Youth Art Exhibit

News Release

RIVERSIDE – Women Wonder Writers (WWW) announced the winners of its Daughters Lives Matter essay contest at its youth art exhibit Transformation: The Color of Change on December 3rd at Riverside ArtsWalk.  Winners included Jericka Roshell, Monique Jordan and Lorriane, high school students from Moreno Valley Unified School District and Riverside County Office of Education, and Melvin Lucas, a father who’s daughter attends John F. Kennedy Middle College High School in Norco.  The artwork, which debuted simultaneously at Riverside Art Museum, included 36 mixed media work created by local youth in collaboration with WWW’s The Write of Your L!fe ProgramRiverside County Office of Education, Southwest Juvenile Hall, Riverside County Department of Probation, Sojourners Haven Group Home, Riverside County Office of Education, Gateway College & Career Academy, Riverside artist Judi Randolph and life coach Joan McCullough. Over 200 people viewed the artwork, which was created by students ages 12 to 17 from WWW’s The Write of Your L!fe andHealing H’Arts programs sponsored by Community Foundation Youth Grantmakers Fund.


During the evening, the winners of the Daughters Lives Matter essay contest were announced. In collaboration with Street Positive, WWW created the 500 word essay contest for young women ages 14-22 and their fathers who live in the Inland Empire. Fathers were asked to answer questions such as “What have you taught your daughter?” And daughters were asked to write about the greatest lesson they had learned from their fathers.


The first place winner in the daughter category, Jericka Roshell, an 11th grader from East Riverside, was awarded a sleek “Go Anywhere” Speaker valued at $200.00 donated on Giving Tuesday by Fugoo, an Orange County based company making waterproof, shockproof and mudproof wireless speakers. Jericka commented, “As soon as I read the topic I knew what I would write. The essay allowed me to express my feelings about my dad. I’m not sure I will show it to him.” Jericka’s mother Ericka, also in attendance, was emotional and grateful for the opportunity the contest provided her daughter, stating that she wasn’t aware how much her daughter was affected by her father’s absence until she read Jericka’s essay.


The second place prize, a $100 Mastercard gift card, was awarded to 16 year-old Lorraine, a Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) 11th grade student, who detailed her struggles through the foster care system, juvenile hall and learning to trust her father who came into her life at age 12 having been through the “system” himself, yet kept showing up to visit and teach her that, “no matter what you’re going through you can always get through it.  Quitting is not an option.” Lorraine stated, “my dream is to go to community college, major in English and become a writer. I have a passion for writing that gives a voice to my story and helps me push through the tough times.”


The third place award, a $75 Visa gift card, was presented to 16 year-old Monique Jordan, an 11th grader from Moreno Valley High School. Monique, who attended the event with her teacher Tamra Handysides who initially informed her about the contest stated, “Writing helps a lot, it felt really good afterwards to be able to say what I needed to.” Melvin Lucas, winner in the father’s category, was presented with a Wireless Headset valued at $200 donated by Pendulumic Headset Company. Mr. Lucas, whose daughter attends John F. Kennedy Middle College High School in Norco wrote, “I personally feel that part of society’s problems today involving black youth comes from the lack of a father or father figures being in their lives.  For girls it’s important for them to see appropriate standards exhibited by fathers, toward women.”


Submissions were judged by an independent scoring committee on how well the entrants followed the instructions, showed passion in their writing, and addressed all the parts of the prompts. WWW Executive Director Debra Postil who is also a prosecutor and children’s book author of It’s This Monkey’s Business tackling domestic violence stated, “fathers are important in the lives of their daughters, especially when it comes to teaching them about relationships and self-worth. The contest provided a way for our community to share their impactful stories.”


Essay contest and youth art show sponsors included United States Liability Insurance Company (USLI)FugooPendulumicRiverside Art MuseumRiverside District Attorney’s Office, and Community Foundation Youth Grantmakers Fund, who awarded a WWW $2,500 grant earlier in the year, to implement youth art programs and art show. for more information about services, programs, and how to donate or volunteer.


The Write of Your L!fe Student putting finishing touches on Artwork for Dec. 3 Art Show.


The Write of Your L!fe Student putting finishing touches on Artwork for Dec. 3 Art Show.


Dec. 3 Youth Art Show, over 200 people viewed artwork at Riverside Art Museum.


The Write of Your L!fe Students with Artwork at Dec. 3 Youth Art Show


L-R, WWW Exec. Dir Debra Postil, 1st Place Essay Winner Father Category Melvin Lucas, 1st Place Essay Winner Daughter Category Jericka Roshell, WWW Board Member/p Auto Finance Todd Strawn, Street Positive CEO Terry Boykins


Dec. 3 Youth Art Show, over 200 people viewed artwork at Riverside Art Museum

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