Mike Terry, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Charlotte Duerden started her art project two days before it was due. Now it's displayed on two billboards in Salt Lake City.
Duerden and Melody Bodily, both of whom attend Highland High School, were this year's winners of the fifth annual Salt Lake City Police Department Student Art Contest. The contest aims to raise awareness of substance abuse and promote drug-free behavior, especially among high school students.
Chief Chris Burbank congratulated the winners in front of their billboard on 2100 South at 2350 East Wednesday.
The contest not only has an anti-drug message, but the interaction police have with students through it is invaluable, Burbank said. It establishes relationships with those who are the city's future.
"I look forward to the future. There's probably a police chief in our future at a local high school," he said.
Bodily's graphic shows a kind of two-faced person, half of whom is graduating from high school and holding half a diploma, while the other half is getting a booking mug shot and holding half a booking card.
"I wanted to show both sides of life and drug use and how glamorous (drugs) can be," she said.
Duerden's graphic shows a cell phone with a bottle of pills calling. Their decision is whether to answer the call or not.
Both girls say once they got into high school, they quickly learned that drugs were easy to find, not just at school, but everywhere. Both girls say they personally know of people whose lives have been severely affected by drugs.
"It's kind of shocking to see how accepting (drug use) is," Duerden said.
For winning the contest, both girls will receive $2,500 scholarships. More than 220 people entered this year's contest. Runners-up were given MacBooks, iPads and digital cameras.
The second billboard with the winning artwork will be erected at 1300 East and 700 South. All entries can be viewed at www.slcpd.com.
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