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Local News

Will County State’s Attorney announces winners in Dangers of Heroin Art Scholarship contest

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has announced the winners in his Dangers of Heroin Art Scholarship Contest.

More than 60 Will County high school students submitted an entry, which awarded college scholarships to the three winners whose artwork best illustrates the horrific consequences of using heroin, according to a news release from Glasgow’s office.

The winners are:

• First place ($3,000 scholarship) – Jessica Johnson, a senior at Plainfield Central High School, for her work titled, “Outer Demons.”

• Second place ($2,000 scholarship) – Alexis Smith, a sophomore at Joliet Central High School, “Suffering.”

• Third place ($1,000 scholarship) – Rebecca Kahney, a senior at Lincoln-Way Central High School, “Heroin Kills.”

Glasgow decided during judging, because of the quality of the work submitted, to create a runners-up category and award three additional $500 scholarships for entries he felt should be honored.

The runners-up are: Skylar Bojan, a senior at Lincoln-Way Central High School, “Looking Through the Needle;” JoHannah Ann Eckert, a freshman at Lincoln-Way North High School, “The Needle Lies;” and Kolton J. Skeldon, a senior at Joliet Central High School, “Tombsday.”

The winning works will be reproduced and featured in an updated version of the state’s attorney’s “Gang Awareness and Prevention Book,” scheduled for release later this year. The first-place winner’s work will fill the back cover.

“The goal of this contest was to enlist high school students to sound a warning for their peers about the heroin scourge that has destroyed so many lives in Will County,” Glasgow said in the news release. “I asked students to first educate themselves about the horrendous dangers of using heroin, and then to use their knowledge to create a powerful piece of original artwork to drive home an anti-heroin message. Across the board, the artwork I received exceeded every expectation in terms of quality and thoughtfulness.”

The scholarships are funded through money seized from criminals engaged in narcotics trafficking.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Will County reached record highs in 2015 and in 2012 at 53 deaths each year. Will County Coroner Pat O’Neil has said there have been 20 confirmed heroin-related overdose deaths so far this year, and estimates the county is on a pace to reach as many as 90 by the end of the year.

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