BEHS student wins Create for Change creative contest

Journey Communications announced the winner of Create for Change, a creative contest that debuted this summer in an effort to get Bristol youth thinking about how they can inspire their community through the acceptance and celebration of diversity.

The winner, Miya Spinella, is an incoming junior at Bristol Eastern High School and submitted a one-of-a-kind piece of art and explanatory accompaniment which displayed how uniqueness and cultural differences can make Bristol a stronger, more vibrant, and more exciting place to live.

Spinella was awarded a $500 cash prize and will be putting the money into savings for her college education.

The contest asked students to answer the question, “How do you think we can use the concept of community to unify people and make the city that we live in an example of overall acceptance regardless of individual beliefs?” Students submitted their responses for the chance to win $500.

While submissions tackled the subject through words, art, and other forms of creative expression, Spinella submitted an art piece that used both monochromatic and color composition to highlight how people who are different can easily feel like they don’t belong.

In her own words, explained a press release from Journey, “Lacking in acceptance isolates us by our differences instead of embracing them.” The release said “Spinella also reminds us that, ‘When society is open minded and blends the values of various ideologies together, the society flourishes.’”

When asked how she felt about winning the Create for Change contest, Spinella said, the news release reported, “It feels great to win and it was a really good topic to think and write about. There is a lot of diversity in school and people from different backgrounds don’t always come together. This contest was an opportunity to think about how we are all different and how much better we can be if we think about ourselves as part of one community and not just as individuals. It’s a topic that doesn’t often get addressed in school so it’s good to bring attention to it so we can all strive to learn from each other and grow.”

The news release said receiving submissions from the local students was an eye opening experience for Chelsea O’Donnell, who owns the local marketing consultancy called Journey Communications.

“We created this contest because we wanted to give our youth the opportunity to speak their minds about what they are seeing both locally and globally,” said O’Donnell in the press release. “Miya’s piece clearly identified ways that we as role models can make changes in the way that we think, talk, and act that can positively influence the way that we operate as a community moving forward. The topic of diversity can be a controversial one, but it’s something that dominates global headlines and reverberates right down to the school cafeteria. Miya’s art is an example of the unification that we can achieve if we just take a little bit more time to practice compassion and acceptance in this wonderfully diverse city that we live in.”

Spinella’s award winning piece can be viewed online at as well as on Facebook at and on Instagram at