NEWTOWN, Conn. — Today, Sandy Hook Promise announced the 2023 “Student Voices Awards” winners. The awards recognize students who creatively promote creating safe, empathetic and inclusive school communities. Entries included artwork, spoken word, videos and visual art.
“Students are leading the efforts to stop school shootings and violence,” said Nicole Hockley, cofounder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “It’s so inspiring to see the new and creative ways these young leaders are creating more inclusive environments and taking action to prevent violence.”
These six winners were selected from approximately 60 submissions from across the country:
- First Place: “To Bystanders,” a spoken word piece by Inezzence, North Carolina
- Second Place: “A Planet of Sprouting Promise,” a spoken word piece by High Point Regional High School’s SAVE Promise Club, New Jersey
- Third Place: “The Subtle but Significant Signs of Violence,” a visual artwork by Julia, Connecticut
- Fourth Place: “Saving Grace,” a video by Tifa, North Carolina
- Fifth Place: “SAVE Tree,” a visual artwork by Adarshana, North Carolina
- Sixth Place: “Hollins SAVE Club,” a spoken word piece by SAVE/Interact Club, Florida
To qualify for the awards, each entrant must incorporate the themes of Start With Hello and Say Something programs including reducing social isolation, boosting belonging and empathy, building inclusive and connected communities, connecting to Trusted Adults, and preventing violence. Additionally, the submission must be designed by students and thoughtfully constructed.
“The ‘Student Voices Awards’ winners remind us that — despite the increases in youth violence and school shootings — there is hope and beauty,” said Hockley. “We must listen to student voices and support student leadership to end school and youth violence.”
Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) envisions a future where all children are free from school shootings and other acts of violence. As a national nonprofit organization, SHP’s mission is to educate and empower youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities. Creators of the life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP teaches the warning signs of someone who may be in crisis, socially isolated, or at-risk of hurting themselves or others and how to get help. SHP also advances school safety, youth mental health, and responsible gun ownership at the state and federal levels through nonpartisan policy and partnerships. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
Aimee Thunberg | [email protected] | 646-761-5579