3 GRPS students win art contest



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


Dec. 17, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Three students from Grand Rapids’ Southwest Community Campus have won the 16th annual Latino Youth Conference Student Art Contest.

The contest, open to eighth- through 12th-graders from throughout the Kent Intermediate School District, recognizes artwork that focuses on Latino culture and heritage while building excitement for higher education.

This year’s winners are:

· 1st place – Lina Gonzalez

· 2nd place – Erika Bryant

· 3rd place – Karen Castillo

Artwork was received from the KISD’s Kent Education Center-Beltline High School, and Alger, Burton and Grand Rapids Montessori middle schools, and Central Innovation High School, all in the Grand Rapids school district.

“We had so many entries, and they showed such talent and passion that it was difficult to select just three winners,” said Christina Arnold, director of the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center and chairwoman of the Latino Youth Conference planning committee.

The contest winners will be recognized at the conference, which will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 3 in Grand Rapids Community College’s Ford Fieldhouse, 111 Lyon St. NE. The conference, with the theme “The Power of Dreams” (El Poder De Soñar) — was created for eighth-graders to encourage them to strive for educational excellence. It is organized by the Diversity Learning Center and the Latino Youth Conference planning committee.

The 2015 conference will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM fields. It will include a screening of the film “Underwater Dreams.” This documentary follows four undocumented Arizona high schools students who enter a robotics competition. The four students featured in the film will take part in a panel discussion during the conference.

“The panel members will tell their story of success in a robotics technology competition despite limited resources,” Arnold said. “We hope the eighth-graders at the conference are encouraged to imagine themselves as college students and are motivated to understand and use the resources available to them to get there.”

To learn more about the Latino Youth Conference, click here or contact Arnold at or (616) 234-3390.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, as well as at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.