Clovis High School students recognized for artwork on mental health

Amanda Aguilar Image
Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Clovis High School students recognized for artwork on mental health
Clovis Unified and the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health teamed up to promote wellness and end the stigma surrounding mental health.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- In just a few days, a billboard in east central Fresno will look very different.

As drivers head north on Clovis Avenue toward Clinton Avenue, they'll see the artwork of Clovis High freshmen, Avi Nguyen and Mailene Gorospe.

"It was very shocking and amazing, and it was very unexpected," Nguyen said.

Avi and Mailene were one of 50 contest entries. Their poster ended up being chosen by other Clovis Unified students as the winners of the 2nd Annual Mental Health Awareness Poster Contest.

In their poster, there are two bears hugging and comforting one another.

Those bears are inside a circle, which the students say represent the bubble some may put themselves in when struggling with their mental health.

But on the outside of that bubble, life is still filled with beauty, represented by the flowers, hearts and butterflies.

Avi and Mailene's message is just as powerful as the art... "My struggles don't define me, they refine me."

"A lot of people today define themselves as what they're bad at, or what they're not that good at," Gorospe said. "We just really want to take that message and change it. We can refine ourselves. It can be better."

As Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health looks for more ways to continue their conversation surrounding mental health, the division manager says it's refreshing to see the youth use their voice.

"It also highlights the work that a lot of our educational partners, in this case, Clovis Unified, have done to break the stigma and start finding ways to get kids to talk about acceptance," Ahmad Bahrami said.

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, students on most of the district's campuses will host wellness fairs, pass out resources and let their classmates know they have support.

The billboard is set to go up on Tuesday, and it will be there for the entire month of May.

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