Sal and Next Step students garner United Way award

Grade 12 Sal student Layla Jonas said her graphic is a fist punching a syringe, which was meant to embody punching the stigma of drug abuse. Photo Supplied

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Students from the Sal Skate Shop at Salisbury Composite High School continue to impress in the community, this time winning an award at the Celebrate Yeg Students event.

The event was hosted virtually on Wednesday, May 13 by the United Way to recognize the work of 19 Denton’s Make Your Mark on Poverty schools in the Capital region, which were all awarded grants for awareness projects.

Sal and students from Next Step High School teamed up for the PoverTEES Pop-up and Fashion show at the Aviary in Edmonton in March to showcase T-shirts they designed with the DMYMP grants shining a light on addictions and poverty.

Their work impressed those who attended the Celebrate Yeg Students virtual event and they were awarded the People’s Choice Award, which was the feature award of the night.

“Whoever was watching at the time voted on all the 19 projects and we won. It was a nice way to cap off the campaign and a great way to recognize all the students’ hard work,” explained Kristian Basaraba, teacher at Next Step and Sal.

The win was unexpected for both Basaraba and his students.

“I was surprised because we’re just a bunch of high school kids in Sherwood Park and who would have thought we’d win,” explained Layla Jonas, a graduating Grade 12 student at Salisbury Composite High School.

Students designed graphics for T-Shirts, which depicted an addiction issue, mental health issue, or a poverty issue.

“My graphic was a fist punching a syringe and the idea was the fist was punching the stigma of drug abuse. People believe people go into drugs because they think its cool but the fact is that people struggle and I wanted to help people understand how hard it is for people to deal with it,” Jonas said.

Basaraba recalled the fashion show and sale in March raised about $900 from T-shirt sales, which was then donated to the Strathcona and Edmonton food banks. There are still some T-shirts available for purchase as a school sale was cancelled by COVID-19. If anyone is interested in picking up a student made T-shirt, email kristian.basaraba@eips.ca.

“The hope is the award helps shine a light on the great work the students have done. The Sal Skate Shop class has provided a lot of students with a lot of great opportunities to be involved in their community or learn some new skills. It is exciting that the students got recognized for their great work this year,” Basaraba said.

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