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Awards & Recognition

2022-23 Outstanding First Year
Teacher of the Year Award

Dan McCarty Middle School

Though my teaching career at Dan McCarty Middle School was brief, it was a rather excellent lesson for both myself and my students. 

I taught 6 - 8th grade 2D Art from August - December of 2022, and in that semester, my work with the students earned the award Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year. 

For my classroom, I developed an entire program dedicated to art and the exploration of self identity. Unfortunately, Florida's new laws banned the discussion of many essential topics about identity and culturally relevant struggles. The new laws and various personal issues paused my program, put me back in the closet, and added to my reasons to leave teaching.


Art St. Lucie Magazine Feature

Fall | Winter 2023 Artist Spotlight

In 2022, I introduced the first art toy to the Treasure Coast, dubbed The Elias Project. The project's goal was to educate our community on the art toy medium and bring a collectible resin sculpture to art buyers. I did a run of two series based on a sculpture I created that mimicked the body language of an upset kitten meme. Though the introduction had a bumpy start, by the time Series 2 came out, it was  

well accepted and anticipated. In fact, Series 2 did so well that The Elias Project earned me an artist spotlight article in Art St. Lucie Magazine.


A Soul's Quest Interview

A New Quest, Episodes 35 & 36

In October of 2021, Jesse and Omar Ferreira invited me to be a guest on their podcast called A Soul's Quest.


The premise of the show is to share life lessons and alternative perspectives that help others to open their eyes, hearts, and minds to the struggles we all share in common.

Since then, my episode has received over 3K views. I'm very proud and honored to have been a guest on their groundbreaking work to change hearts and minds everywhere.


"We're all on this life quest, and it can be challenging at times. But we're here to provide guidance by sharing stories, experiences, and personal connections in various topics; including the self, improvement, education, personal growth, knowledge, personal development, life lessons, coaching, mental wellness, overcoming life challenges, family relationships, emotional intelligence, and much more." - A Soul's Quest

Episodes released April 2022.

2018-19 Appreciation & Recognition Award

Healthy St. Lucie

There are a ton of little things we do that we don’t think much about, yet to someone else it’s a big deal. Such was the case with the last logo challenge Walt Hines issued us in the Fall of 2017. Healthy St. Lucie was looking for a logo that incorporated its graphic mark and could be refreshed yearly for its Billion Steps Challenge – part of its fitness initiatives that really got started in 2018. The design I created that was finessed by Walt was chosen, and in 2019 Healthy St. Lucie honored him and me with appreciation and recognition awards.


Want to know more about the project? Read more here.

2018 Judge's Choice Award
& Gold ADDY Award

American Advertising Federation – Treasure Coast

When I first started taking Graphic Design courses at Indian River State College, I heard of and saw some students get awarded with an ADDY. It was like winning an Oscar on a small, local level in my eyes, and I have ever since wanted one. Even though I pined for one, I never took the time to learn more about them or where they came from. I kind of just wanted to be told that I was good enough and hey, here’s an award for that.

Silly, isn’t it?

Maybe I gave up on it because there was so much raw talent around me that I felt like I could never compete, so I dove further into visual arts and put less effort into being a notable graphic designer in my program. I used what I was learning in graphic design to build more interesting visual pieces, digitally, and that work began to bleed into my classwork. Color, texture, form, line, movement, and… meaning… came alive for me with the use of photographs and words. And I started thinking, maybe I can’t be the best graphic designer, but I could  be unique.

We spend a lot of time developing skills, ideas, and creativity to turn around and fit ourselves into a box called conservative. Conservative is the norm, it’s acceptable, it’s the status quo, and I dared to be less conservative, and more… me; a uniqueness that was valued by others leading to my now award-winning cover for the Shanghai Acrobats not only winning a Gold ADDY but also taking home a Judge’s Choice trophy.

Be different. Be unique. Be free. Most importantly… stop comparing your achievements to those of others. Each day, each moment is an opportunity to grow and reinvent yourself. Start right now.

More From The Past

Awards & Accomplishments
2017 Digital Media Student Exhibition

Awarded 1st Place in Photography and 1st Place in Sculpture; hosted by Indian River State College's Advanced Technology Department.

2016 Art Mundo Calendart

Selected to be 1 of 24 featured artists in Art Mundo's Calendart Fundraiser.

2015 Crazy Little Thing Called Love Exhibition

Awarded People's Choice Award for digital print transfer titled, The Mending Heart; hosted by Art Mundo.

2007 The Backus Museum's Annual Chalk Walk

Awarded 1st Place Winner for chalked piece titled, Stone Pride.

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