Students Create Artwork To Share Hope With Those Battling Cancer

By: Holly Hollman

A budding tree. A dove flying in the sunlight. A pair of hands holding an origami swallow.

These are expressions of hope students from local schools created to encourage those battling cancer and to encourage their caregivers.

The Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission recently accepted art entries based on the theme “Sharing HOPE” for its fall/winter art contest for the City Hall Art Corner. The Youth Commission is composed of students in grades 10-12 from Athens High, Athens Bible, Lindsay Lane Christian and home-schools in Athens. Students learn about civic responsibility and community service.

The first-place winner in the elementary division was Jareth Paz Perez, a third grader from Athens Elementary who submitted the dove piece. The first-place winner in the 6-12 grade division was Isabella Adams, age 16, from Elkmont High School. She created a budding, hopeful tree wrapped in a cancer awareness ribbon. Jareth and Isabella will each receive $15 from the Youth Commission.

Cherry Hammonds, Senior Development Manager II with the American Cancer Society, works with the Relay for Life Teams in Limestone County. She said the artwork and messages from the students highlight the caring they have for those battling cancer and their loved ones.

“Their caring knows no boundaries,” Hammonds said. “The gift of hope and kindness is evident in the incredible artwork submitted by these students. I’m thankful for their spirt and energy, and I know they are just beginning to make a difference.”

In addition to the first-place winners, the second and third place winners and other top scoring pieces will be on display at the City Hall Art Corner from Nov. 6 through February 2024.

“The Youth Commissioners had a difficult time choosing the Top 3 in each age group,” said Youth Commission mentor and City of Athens Relay for Life Team Captain Holly Hollman. “The student artists each had a unique perspective on how to convey messages of hope through art.”

The public can view the artwork Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Art Corner is in the front foyer.

The City of Athens Relay Team will have a Hope Chain as part of the art exhibit, where those who want to honor a loved one impacted by cancer can donate $5 to include the loved one’s name on the chain. To donate and submit a name, call Kim Glaze at 256-233-8730 or email Hollman All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

List of Top 3 Winners

Elementary Division:

  • First, Jareth Paz Perez, third grade, Athens Elementary
  • Second, Willa Gibson, first grade, Athens Elementary
  • Third, Alice Gibson, first grade, Athens Elementary


6-12 Grade Division:

  • First, Isabella Adams, 16, Elkmont High
  • Second, Zoey Powers, 14, Athens High
  • Third, Jaxon Williams, 11, Athens Middle

By: Holly Hollman