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Gabriella Ejercito

Student Art Contest: Senior Division, First Place


11th Grade – Aragon High School

My ceramics piece is a sculpted hand rising from the ground holding a heart. Surrounding my piece, as well as in the heart, are flowers. My blood runs from Filipino Heritage; my cultural identity is my community. Part of Filipino culture are the incredibly strong family ties; Filipinos take pride in their family name and their culture. As the oldest sister, the oldest cousin, and a first-born girl within the third generation of my family-- it is my role to support my siblings and my cousins to grow and teach them equity. Like the hand rising from the ground, I use my strength to embody a certain role in my community-- which is shaping the hearts of my loved ones and guiding them to making good decisions. The flowers eroding from the heart represents the grace, beauty, and equity that comes with the responsibility of being a leader. It is my role to set an impact on future generations to take pride in our family, our culture, and to be loving humans--continuing the legacy of strong family ties within my Filipino Heritage. Minoru Yasui was a diligent, determined, and natural born leader-- he committed his life for positive change. Ultimately, the flowers surrounding my peace resemble the beauty of being a leader, the beauty of being able to make positive change, and the heart represents the compassionate love and empathy of a leader--just like Minoru Yasui. Like Yasui, I strive to do the same. Within my community, no matter the distance of my family ties, I strive for positive change in the lives of my loved ones.

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