Contest Connecting Haitian and Central Pennsylvania Students Through Art & Education

Connecting cultures through art and education

HARRISBURG, Pa.—The Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing education, preventative health care, nutrition and support to the poorest of the poor children in Haiti through three Saint Marc schools, announces the winners of its Central Pennsylvania art contest which is giving students in grades 3 – 12 the opportunity to Connect Cultures Through Art and Education. Since launching its art contest on April 25, 2019, the organization received unique artwork from students representing nearly a dozen local schools from Lewisberry and Harrisburg to Lancaster. 

“Our organization as well as the independent judging panel of local art professionals were very impressed with the creative and skilled artwork that reflected the students’ interpretation of the importance of education,” Dr. Rodrigue Mortel, Founder of the Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation, said. “We received submissions from students attending public and private schools as well as those home-schooled.  We are pleased to announce our winners.”

9th– 12thGrade Category

Winner:  Kaylee Welch, 10thgrade, J.P. McCaskey High School, Lancaster School District

Runner-Up: Jennylee DeJesus, 12thgrade, J.P. McCaskey High School, Lancaster School District

6th– 8thGrade Category

Winner:  Hannah Bishop, 6thgrade, Allen Middle School, West Shore School District  

Runner-Up:  Sophia Gross, 6thgrade, Crossroads Middle School, West Shore School District 

3rd– 5thGrade Category

Winner:  Yaakov Reid, 5thgrade, Silver Academy, Central Pa.’s Jewish Day School

Runner-Up: Victoria Kelly, 5thgrade, St. Catherine Laboure School, Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg  

Winners will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card.  In addition,a $150 gift card will go to the winners’ schools to support their art programs.  Runners-up will receive a $25 Visa Gift Card.  All winners will have their artwork framed and placed in one of the Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation’s schools in Haiti.

“The goal of the art contest was to provide young people with an opportunity to use their artistic abilities to connect with the Haitian cultures through art and education,” said Dr. Mortel. “The local art contest was duplicated in our Haitian schools with the hopes of displaying winning artwork in both Haiti and Central Pennsylvania learning environments.  The Haitian winners will also receive funds toward their next year’s education.  Education gives us knowledge of the world around us and we want all students to believe that learning has the power to change lives,” he added.   

The contest participants were classified into three categories including 3rd– 5th, 6th— 8thand 9th— 12thgrade. The Elementary school category created art in response to the question, “What is your favorite thing about school?” and the Middle and High school categories responded to the question, “What does education mean to you?” The contest required participants to enter artwork using an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper and were encouraged to include a brief explanation and/or description of the entry. All participants are receiving a certificate of participation.

For more information about the Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation or to view the winning artwork and submissions from Central Pennsylvania and Haiti students, visit

About the Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation

Founded by Dr. Rodrigue Mortel, the Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation is a certified charitable organization with the mission to form a new generation of Haitians who are empowered through education to lead self-sufficient and productive lives and to become responsible citizens and community leaders. As a Haitian child who experienced poverty, Dr. Mortel made education his personal mission.  He attributes his successes as a world-renowned gynecologic oncologist, author, and philanthropist to his commitment to education.

For more information about the Mortel High Hopes for Haiti Foundation, visit the website at, call 844-466-7835 or connect on Facebook ,Instagramand Twitter.