Two ODA Students Earn Top Honors in International Contest

ODA's Hartley Livesey '30 and Isa Bunch '30 represented ODA on the podium as top winners of the 2023 Embracing Our Differences Contest.
This year’s  Embracing Our Differences (EOD) 20th Year Anniversary Exhibition opening celebration took place at Sarasota’s Bayfront Park, on Sunday, January 22. The exhibition featured 50 billboard-size images and quotations that "celebrate our community's vision of a world that embraces diversity, respects differences, and actively rejects hatred and prejudice. The Embracing Our Differences committee believes in creating a world where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated."

Hartley and Isa's winning submissions were two of the 13,733 quotes and artwork received from 45 states, 119 countries, and 424 schools. Hartley's quote, “Always remember you are braver than you think and stronger than you believe,” was judged in three rounds by a 24-person selection committee. The selected quotes were then run through plagiarism software and from that, 50 were selected for display at the exhibit. The selection committee then voted for the Best in Show student quotation, which Hartley was awarded.

A judging panel selected the Rising Star artists from all of the Manatee and Sarasota County elementary art submissions they received. All of the entries were reviewed before the panel selected the top three pieces of artwork from each county. Isa's submission, "Our World," was one of the three pieces selected as Rising Stars from Sarasota County.

During the event, Hartley and Isa were celebrated for their accomplishments, and Hartley’s Best in Show quote was awarded $2,000 to be split between Hartley and Out-of-Door. 

We are proud of Hartley and Isa and their contributions to this wonderful exhibit, as well as all of our fourth and fifth graders who participated in the creation and submission process. This experience has helped them “join a global movement to embrace diversity, respect differences, and actively reject hatred and prejudice."

Read more in SRQ Magazine, Herald-Tribune, and Broadway World Sarasota.

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