You don’t need a Ph.D to know that staying in school is an important message to instill in our youth. Metro Transit is proud to support and promote the St. Clair County Juvenile Justice Truancy Sub-Committee in its campaign to keep students in school.
Earlier this year, middle/junior high and high school students in St. Clair County were asked to create and submit posters that promote staying in school and getting an education.
Winners were chosen based on the poster’s originality, message and creativity.
Yesterday afternoon, a special ceremony to recognize and present awards to the winners was held at the St. Clair County Municipal Courts Building in Belleville, Illinois. Attendees included the student winners, their families, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, Metro Transit’s Interim Director of Marketing and Communications Dianne Williams, Regional Office of Education Superintendent Susan Sarfaty, Assistant Principal of Belleville West High School Jan Patrick-Hayden, Truancy Committee Chairperson Tijuana Macon, and other committee members.
“Our hope is to continue to work with members of the community and kids likes these artists, to promote the cause and decrease truancy in an area where truancy is very, very high,” said St Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. “This is beautiful artwork and we hope it gets the message across.”
The first place middle school winner was Vergal Williams, an eighth-grader at Mason-Clark Middle School in East St. Louis. The middle school runner-up was Corlynda Graham, a seventh-grader at Mason-Clark. Mason-Clark eighth grader Cris Yates received an honorable mention.
Michael Holdman was chosen as the first place winner in the high school division. He is a senior at Belleville West High School. Dominic Thuis, a junior at Belleville West, received the second place award.
Metro Transit will display posters of the first place contest winners’ artwork on MetroBus vehicles and MetroLink trains after the new school year starts.
“This cause is really important to Metro Transit because we too care about whether or not young people are staying in school,” pointed out Metro Transit’s Interim Director of Marketing and Communications Dianne Williams. “Frankly, the second most reported transit use is to get to school. We know that when you are going to school you are increasing your earning power, and you’re going to make lives better for your family and community. We want you to be able to do that and these artists have given us a great way to encourage people to stay in school.”
Congratulations to all the winners.