By: Jessie Monsivais Photo by: Lillian Rietz
There is a competition in the Coastal Bend that allows high school students from the Coastal Bend area to compete for a chance to win a $3,000 educational scholarship. The Coastal Bend High School Art Contest, which celebrates student art and allows young creators to share their talent, work ethic, and imagination, does just that. Ran by the organization Corpus Christi Fish for Life, the contest awards college scholarships to the top artists, and offers a silent auction featuring student art – of which benefits the students and Fish for Life programs.
In 2009, Chuck Goodwin started Corpus Christi Fish for Life, a non-profit mentorship dedicated to building a better future for the city by investing in the lives of at-risk youth. The program works with businesses, schools, and churches to offer leadership, guidance, and support to cultivate hope and transformation in the way these young people see themselves, their families, and their future.
Fish for Life’s first steps began with taking minors on probation fishing; teaching them how to fish, educating them on the different species, visiting the hatchery, earning their fishing certificate, and visiting the pond – where they caught about 30 redfish one visit, according to Goodwin. “The organization has provided many charitable opportunities for less fortunate children, from taking kids who were in trouble out fishing to taking students from West Oso Elementary back-to-school shopping,” shares Goodwin.
Last year, the art contest was crafted as a fundraiser for art supplies for West Oso High School, awarding the school $1,000 for supplies. “We thought, ‘If we can do this with West Oso, why not do it with CCISD schools?’” says Lee Bailey, Special Project Coordinator.
This year’s contest included 150 entries between West Oso and the eight CCISD high schools. For each school, a first, second, and third place winner was named and received $150, $100, or $50 award based on placement. “I was impressed with their creativity and originality. It was really difficult to choose a Top 3 out of 20 entries,” says Bailey.
The top three winners from each of the nine schools are entered into a Grand Championship Round at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and Natural History. The top three winners of the Grand Championship Round, held last month, were awarded college scholarships up to $3,000. Internationally renowned sculptor Kent Ullberg leads the team of judges for the final competition, along with Dinah Bowman and David Winter.
Bailey begins his closing thoughts with a hopeful attitude, one that is present in just about everything Fish for Life does: “We hope to inspire these kids to be well-rounded citizens – people who study music and art, who develop their creativity. These are the people of tomorrow.”