Sharyland High School senior, Miguel Hernandez, won $500 in the high school category in the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Student Visual Arts and Poetry Contest. Miguel is one of only 4 high school students in the state of Texas to earn this honor.

Miguel was encouraged to participate by his Special Topics History Teacher Robert Barbosa. The THGC’s Student contest was open to students grades 6-12 and sought to recognize students who translated the experience of survivors of the Holocaust or modern genocides artistically into poetry or visual art pieces. This year’s theme was Texas Survivors.

These are survivors of the Holocaust and modern genocides recognized by the United States; these genocides include those in Cambodia, Rwanda, the Balkans, Darfur, Armenia and the Middle East (Syria and Iraq), have attempted to convey their experiences to others, especially the younger generations that represent the future. By engaging survivors’ personal testimonies, Texas students can assume the role of witness and use their knowledge to improve the world in which we live.

The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission is a state agency that was established to bring awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides to Texas students, educators, and the general public by ensuring availability of resources, and in doing so, imbue in individuals a sense of responsibility to uphold human value and inspire citizens in the prevention of future atrocities.