CLAYTON -- When she saw her parents and teachers gathered in the school office on Monday at Corinth Holders High School, 17-year-old Brenna Ziermann began to worry.
“I thought I was in trouble,” said Ziermann.
Much to her surprise, her parents and teachers were there to give her an award. Ziermann won the N.C. Big Sweep logo design contest, competing against about 350 other students. She was awarded $100 from NC Big Sweep.
“I was so surprised,” said Ziermann. The contest took entries from students across the state in grades kindergarten through 12. Ziermann drew her piece in art class.
“Our art teacher is always entering our stuff in competitions,” said Ziermann. “She likes to do that for us.” Her art teacher, Abby Boykin, said she entered drawings from about 60 students.
Students were instructed to use only three colors. The idea was to draw something that represented NC Big Sweep, a non-profit that uses volunteers to help clean up litter across the state. Since its founding in 1987, Big Sweep has helped clean up 11 million pounds of debris in North Carolina, or the equivalent of 26,000 football fields, according to Big Sweep president Judy Bolin.
Ziermann said she tried to make her drawing as kid-friendly as possible, using the image of a sweeping superhero. That concept is what really won over the judges.
Bolin said that one of the goals of Big Sweep is to inspire people to volunteer and for people to see the potential they have to help others. “This concept is great because it can be adapted to show that everyone can be a hero. The judges chose Ziermann’s creative concept because it was inspirational and could have an impact on volunteerism.”
Johnston County schools have had a good track record in the competition. This is the third time since the contest began 11 years ago that a student from Johnston County schools has won the design contest. Drew Smith, also from Corinth Holders High School, led a Big Sweep cleanup as his graduation project.
“I am thankful for the volunteers in Johnston County who make our state cleaner and greener,” said Johnston County Big Sweep coordinator Susan Woodard.
Ziermann, a senior at Corinth Holders, said this will be a great thing to add to her resume as she applies for college. She is planning to apply to ECU, UNC Charlotte, and N.C. State.