MURAL UNVEILING RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH

Oxnard– Large crowds gathered at Terraza De Las Cortes on Saturday, June 11, as the Mental Health Awareness Mural unveiling at the Community Resource Park and Fair offered community members valuable resources, lots of food and good music.

JHE The event celebrated and recognized the youth of Future Leaders of America, who spent approximately 2,000 hours working on the mural, as the group received special recognition from community leaders.

Oxnard Councilman Oscar Madrigal told the group that making the mural was a long process and the students did a wonderful job.

“Everyone who gave of their time and effort, especially Anna,” Madrigal said. “It started years ago, and it’s an ongoing process.”

“Oxnard Town Manager Alex Nguyen greeted the artists’ families and asked for a round of applause for all of their support throughout the effort.

“This afternoon you are receiving certificates and honors from the city, county, United States Congress, and I think the Mexican Consulate, so you are going to have more certificates and honors than most Americans will never get one,” he said. said. “Congratulations, it’s beautiful, and we can’t wait until the next mural.”

Mayor John Zaragoza said it was an honor to be with everyone and said Anna continues to do a great job as always.

Mental health is really important,” he said. “You know what is happening in the United States; there are killings every day.

He asked for a moment of silence for Robb Elementary School and said to go ahead; the city is in safe hands as they look to future leaders.

“Believe in yourself, and that’s fantastic,” he said.

Euclides Del Moral from the Consulate of Mexico congratulated the children and their work.

“It’s such an honor to be here; congratulations, girls and boys,” he said. ” That’s wonderful. I really like it because it celebrates our Mexican roots. You really stand out by celebrating the roots of Oxnard and Mexico.

Supervisor Carmen Ramirez said it was an honor to be invited to the event and to be with the future of the country, the nation and the community.

“You are beautiful,” she said. “It’s a beautiful mural. I especially want to congratulate Anna for helping Gloria from Future Leaders. Here we have the Council of Mexico.

She noted that mental health is a huge issue for young people.

“We have all been through so much in the past two years, but especially our young people, we have to support them; those of us who are in a position to do so,” she said. “Thank you for thinking ahead.”

Artist Javier Mendoza Jr. said working on the mural was a fun experience.

“I was able to learn new art techniques, meet new people and talk to people walking along the wall,” he said. “It’s unreal and historic to work on this because it will be there for years. When I’m older, 30 or 40, I’ll come back and see that wall again.

He said they all collaborated on flowers and grass but worked with Anna on other sections.

“This project really brought me into the art community,” Mendoza said. “I was drawing here and there, but this project made me realize that art is so much fun.”

He said that for teenagers, mental health is an important issue.

“A lot of people have suffered from depression during Covid-19 and distance learning, and it’s a way to bring people together and fight mental health stigma,” Javier said. “For me, that’s a big deal because it can change someone’s path in a better direction.”

His father, Javier Mendoza Sr., is very proud of his son.

“He stays busy and does something positive to engage with people and communicate,” he said. “I am not an artist at all. I just got him to work on this project.

Mayte Ipatzi, the Future Leaders of America youth organizer, said the biggest thing she learned during the Mural project was the power of young people in creating something artistic.

“They sent a message to the community and they used their voice to send a message about mental health,” she said.

The kids worked on the project on weekends and after school, but she said they stayed focused.

“We worked on this project for over five months, so it took a lot of commitment from start to finish,” she said. “Together we made it happen, and we’re here today to celebrate the accomplishments.”

She is working on improving her artistic ability.

“The real artists are the students who made the mural possible,” Ipatzi said.

She said students are always welcome to join Future Leaders of America.

“If you would like to get involved with Future Leaders of America, you can contact us at www.futureleadersnow.org,” she said.

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