Bristol Eastern Student Wins ‘Create for Change Contest’

Miya Spinella (Left) Chelsea O’Donnell (right) Submitted photo

Journey Communications is thrilled to announce 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 clearly displayed how uniqueness and cultural differences can make our city a stronger, more vibrant, and more exciting place to live.

Miss 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, Miss Spinella’s entry hit a chord with 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, “Lacking in acceptance isolates us by our differences instead of embracing them.” Miss Spinella also reminds us that, “When society is open minded and blends the values of various ideologies together, the society flourishes.”

Artwork by Miya Spinella

When asked how she felt about winning the Create for Change contest, Miss Spinella said, “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.”

Receiving submissions from the local students was an eye opening experience for Chelsea O’Donnell, who owns a local marketing consultancy called Journey Communications, which served as the principal sponsor for the contest.

“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.

“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.”

The success of the of the Create for Change contest has inspired Journey Communications to make it an annual competition, with the next event launching in June 2018. Ms. Spinella’s award winning piece can be viewed online at as well as on Facebook at and on Instagram at O’Donnell is also working with Bristol City Hall, Bristol Eastern High School, and The Bristol Boys & Girls Club to showcase the artwork for all residents to enjoy.


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