ROANOKE, Va. – The winners of U.S. Cellular's 11th annual Black History Month Art Competition with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia have been announced.
Mayor Sherman Lea joined U.S. Cellular to announce the winners at a celebration Tuesday. Organizers said the 10 finalists' art was displayed in U.S. Cellular stores during February, in which the community voted for their favorites.
Original artwork was created in honor of influential African-Americans, including business people, sports figures, historical figures and celebrities for the contest in January, organizers said.
"There is nothing like seeing an award winner's face when they realize that they have been recognized by the community. It's simply priceless," said Bertram Daniels, area sales manager for U.S. Cellular. "This contest allows U.S. Cellular to connect with area youth to celebrate our diverse history in a fun and engaging way."
Organizers said the winning artists were awarded the following prizes:
- Tyler Turner, from Patrick Henry High School, received $500 for first place for a portrait of Nelson Mandela (View here). Organizers said Tyler is a second-time winner of an award, as he tied for third place in last year's contest.
- Isabelle Rosas, from Rocky Mount Elementary School, received $200 for second place for a portrait of Rosa Parks (View here).
- Ashton Lafon, from Shawsville Middle School, received $150 for third place for a portrait of Wilt Chamberlain (View here).
"We're so grateful for our partnership with U.S. Cellular and the opportunity our students at Boys & Girls Club have to celebrate Black History Month through their own artistic expression," said Michelle Dykstra, chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia.
Over the years, U.S. Cellular has awarded $9,350 in gift cards and more than 7,600 youth have participated in the annual program, organizers said.