SafeLaunch Encourages Students to Enter Media $500 Contest

This year’s contest, which is titled “Portraits of Addiction and Hope,” will showcase the works of teen photographers and two-dimensional artists from Santa Barbara County. The deadline to enter the contest is March 1 and students can enter online at The art and photography submission deadlines are available on the website.

“Our Media $500 Contests challenge adults and youth to consider the physiology of brain development while reminding people that the use of intoxicants during the critical teen years can severely inhibit the successful development of our most vital organ. This contest serves to raise awareness about the potentially life-altering disease of addiction from which recovery is extremely difficult,” explain SafeLaunch co-founders Ron Cuff and Mari Mender.

High school photographers who enter the contest will be taking portraits of residents in two local recovery centers, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission and Bethel House. Once the photos are submitted, junior high and high school students who have entered the contest will be asked to interpret one of the submitted photographs however they wish, in two dimensions.

“The misery of addiction is highly preventable and must be dealt with proactively. We applaud and are happy to reward the positive efforts of our youth to help us spread this important message,” explains Janet Rowse, co-founder.

The contest will culminate with an art show on May 3 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Samy’s Camera on Chapala Street in Santa Barbara, as a Santa Barbara Downtown Organization 1st Thursday event. The students’ artwork will be on display through the month for public viewing. The winners in each category, photography and two-dimensional art, will be announced and cash prizes will be awarded to the students that evening. The first prize is $500; second prize is $250 and third is $100. SafeLaunch encourages all local students and their families to attend the event and will be providing light refreshments. Members from SafeLaunch and the student led Launch Crew will be on hand to answer questions about joining and supporting the organization. Samy’s Camera is producing a photographic art book of the show, which will be for sale at the event.

About SafeLaunch

SafeLaunch is a science-based, youth-driven organization focused on protecting the brains of our youth to increase the probability that all people will reach their highest potential. The group embraces current scientific evidence, rather than morality or politics, to educate adolescents and adults about the human brain. SafeLaunch is bringing a new approach to preventing the disease of addiction, which affects everyone involved including family members, neighbors, and friends. SafeLaunch is an initiative of the Freestyle Foundation, which fosters, promotes, and advances substance-free living initiatives, nationwide.


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