2018 Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest, PSA Winners Announced

In its eighth year, the Alcohol Prevention Poster Contest was thrilled to once again receive over 600 quality entries from 43 schools and community centers.

The continued interest in the contest demonstrates that the community has made prevention of underage drinking a priority. The theme this year was “Get Your Game on, Alcohol Free” promoting a message of unlimited opportunities when one chooses an alcohol-free lifestyle.

Judged by an artistic committee, they narrowed down the choices to 15 students, split into five each for elementary, middle, and high school. Guest artist judges selected one student from each category to represent the “Critic’s Choice” and the community voted online to determine the winners of the “People’s Choice.”

Scholarship grantees choose two students from among the total entries to receive $1,000. The Hanley Center Foundation awarded Antonio Ruiz, an 11th grader from Lake Worth Community High School, the $1,000 scholarship. Yui Ikeda, a 6th grader from Watson B. Duncan Middle School was selected for the $1,000 Judy Carerras Scholarship.

New to this year’s contest, students could create a 30-60 second Public Service Announcement video about why teens should choose to be alcohol-free. This video category awarded two $500 scholarships. The Michael Joseph Brink Foundation awarded $500 to 10th grader, Ambar Pena, from Royal Palm Beach High School for her positive video that highlighted that 80 percent of teens are alcohol-free. Bryce Gunning, an 8th grader from Eagles Landing Middle School, received top honors and $500 from the Family Center for Recovery, for his touching video.

Over the years, the contest and its message has had a big impact in the community. “When this contest began, our county data showed 70 percent of middle and high school teens were alcohol-free, and now 80 percent choose an alcohol-free lifestyle,” stated Alexa Lee, Director of Programs for the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition. The winners and finalists are listed below by category.

Elementary School Winners

Shyla Adhikari Grade 5 Manatee Elementary People’s Choice
Jayden Vasquez Grade 4 Binks Forest Elementary Critic’s Choice

Middle School Winners

Aidan Gunning Grade 8 Eagles Landing Middle People’s Choice
Veronika Khshtoian Grade 6 Christa McAuliffe Middle Critic’s Choice

High School Winners

Alena Diaz Grade 11 John I. Leonard High Critic’s Choice
Destiny Zuniga Grade 11 Jupiter Community High People’s Choice

Elementary School Finalists

Harper Thurston Grade 5 The Conservatory School @ North Palm Beach
Gabriella Raiford Grade 3 Palm Beach Gardens Elementary
A’Mariyah Sampsan Grade 2 Glade View Elementary

Middle School Finalists

Edward Guess Grade 7 Polo Park Middle
Bella Defilippis Grade 7 Christa McAuliffe Middle

High School Finalists

Selena Medina Grade 12 South Tech Academy
Ross St. Cyr Grade 12 South Tech Academy
Karli Friedman Grade 12 Boca Raton Community High


All semi-finalists of the contest were featured at the Big Band Hall at Yesteryear Village during the South Florida Fair from January 12-28, 2018. The winning posters will be displayed on all District school buses and receive a $100 gift card.

This project is a collaboration between the School District of Palm Beach County’s Single School Culture Initiatives, the Department of Transportation Services, the Department of Communications & Engagement, and community partners including the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, Hanley Center Foundation, Family Center for Recovery, Michael Joseph Brink Foundation, South Florida Fair, Rotary Club of Wellington, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Florida SADD and MADD, Boy Scouts Gulfstream Council, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.