NAHMA National Poster Contest Winners Express How Being Healthy Is Happy
Esme Fordjour, a ninth grader from Worcester, Mass., has been named the grand prizewinner in NAHMA’s annual AHMA Drug-Free Kids poster and art contest. The talented artist’s creation will appear on the cover of NAHMA’s 2023 calendar. Esme, 14, also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for a future NAHMA Biannual Top Issues in Affordable Housing conference, as well as a scholarship of $2,500 from the NAHMA Educational Foundation.
The poster contest is open to children and senior residents 55 years or older who live in a community of a NAHMA or a local AHMA member company, as well as residents with special needs who live in a permanent supportive housing community or Section 811 community of a NAHMA or a local AHMA member company.
The underlying message for the annual contest is always a drug-free theme. Still, the association wanted to open the door for more avenues of expression, so a subtheme is incorporated into the poster contest. The subtheme for this year is Healthy Is Happy: Nutrition and Fitness Propel Us Forward.
Typically, the contest draws hundreds of participants nationwide. The artwork is divided into categories. For each grade category for children and the elderly and special needs levels, local AHMAs select up to three winning posters, which can consist of photographs, websites, computer art, or other media. The AHMA winners are then sent to NAHMA for consideration in the national contest.
The grade categories for children are based on the grade the contestants have completed by June 2022: kindergarten-first grade, second-third grade, fourth-sixth grade, seventh-ninth grade, and 10th-12th grade. Only students are eligible for the grand prize.
Regardless of the entry category, each national winner of the NAHMA contest receives a $1,000 educational scholarship from the NAHMA Educational Foundation. All winners are also featured in the 2023 calendar.
Furthermore, participants in the annual art contests held by the local AHMAs are eligible to be selected as Regional AHMA Art Contest Honorable Mentions. Those chosen for this distinction are featured in a special section of the NAHMA 2023 Drug-Free Kids calendar and receive a $100 scholarship check.
The original grand prizewinning artwork will be sold in connection with the Educational Foundation’s in-person gala, Oct. 27, with the proceeds supporting the foundation’s scholarship program.
Calendars go on sale beginning in September. The calendar cost is $5.50, which is a Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture allowable project expense.
The following lists this year’s national program winners, with their ages at time of submission, grade completed in June 2022, contest category, the community where they live, the management company, and name of the AHMA that submitted their artwork:
• Esme Fordjour, 14; Ninth grade; Stratton Hill Park Apartments, Worcester, Mass.; Beacon Communities LLC; NEAHMA
• Jeremiah Berger, 7; Second grade; Plaza Manor Court, Jacksonville, N.C.; Westminster Company; SAHMA
• Bill Devlin, 78; Seniors & residents with special needs; The Ledges, Ashland, Mass.; Peabody Properties; NEAHMA
• Anthony Keshishyan, 16; 11th grade; The Gardens on Garfield, Glendale, Calif.; Thomas Safran & Associates; AHMA-PSW
• Ali Kramen, 56; Seniors & residents with special needs; Council Groves Apartments, Missoula, Mont.; Tamarack Property Management; Rocky Mountain Heartland AHMA
• Ari’bella Landry, 8; First grade; Davis Commons, Brockton, Mass.; First Realty Management; NEAHMA
• Ezra Lopez, 6; Kindergarten; Council Groves Apartments, Missoula, Mont.; Tamarack Property Management; Rocky Mountain Heartland AHMA
• Ana A. Maza, 54; Seniors & residents with special needs; Lakeside Towers Apartments, Miami, Fla.; Royal American Management; SAHMA
• Angie Montero, 18; 12th grade; Lakeside Towers Apartments, Miami, Fla.; Royal American Management; SAHMA
• Alina Oganezova, 12; Sixth grade; Strathern Court, Sun Valley, Calif.; Thomas Safran & Associates; AHMA-PSW
• Skye Roberson, 9; Sixth grade; Stratton Hill Park Apartments, Worcester, Mass.; Beacon Communities LLC; NEAHMA
• Diego Humberto Salcido, 13; Eighth grade; Strathern Park, Sun Valley, Calif.; Thomas Safran & Associates; AHMA-PSW
• Joshua Silva, 13; Eighth grade; Kingsville Lulac Manor, Kingsville, Texas; Prospera Housing Community Services; SWAHMA
• Lisa Marie Veliz Santiago, 17; 10th grade; Residencial El Recreo, San German, Puerto Rico; J.A. Machuca & Associate Inc.; SAHMA
• Deborah Holt, 72; Seniors & residents with special needs; Cornerstone Village Apartments, Pittsburgh, Pa.; McCormack Baron Management; PAHMA
• Ranbir Kaur, 69; Seniors & residents with special needs; Los Robles Apartments, Union City, Calif.; EAH Inc.; AHMA-NCH
• Noah Merritt, 13; Seventh grade; Rowan Towers, Trenton, N.J.; The Michaels Organization; JAHMA
• Aritha Peaks, 53; Seniors & residents with special needs; Michigan Avenue School, Columbus, Ohio; CPO Management; MAHMA
• Dara Vargas Vazquez, 18; 12th grade; Escuela Superior Urbana en Maricao, Maricao, Puerto Rico; J.A. Machuca & Associates Inc.; SAHMA
THE 2022 CONTEST WINNERS