Cassidy Burton, a 12-year-old Grade 6 pupil at Micklefield Girls’ School, beat more than 600 000 entrants to win the local round of the 29th annual Lions Clubs International Peace Poster Contest.
Art teacher Genevieve Schutz said this was the first year the school took part in the competition, with five Grade 6 pupils entering.
The theme was “a celebration of peace”.
Pupils Miyo Jappie and Hannah Lea clinched the second and third spots respectively.
The posters go through several judging levels: local, district, multiple district and international.
The international winner will be announced on February 1 next year and stands to win 5 000 US dollars and each of the 23 merit winners will receive 500 US dollars and a certificate of achievement.
Ms Schutz said Cassidy’s winning entry was of a dove surrounded by a crowd of people and a rainbow.
“I could not believe that a Grade 6 pupil could produce something like this. It’s so sensitively done,” she added.
She said Lions Clubs International is sponsoring the contest to emphasise the importance of world peace among young people everywhere.
“Ward 58 councillor Sharon Cottle encouraged us to take part in the competition and next year we hope to involve the Grade 7s,” she added.
Cassidy said she started working on her poster during the second term.
“I drew it with a pencil a week after getting the brief and a couple of weeks later I started painting. I really enjoy using watercolours,” she said.
When Cassidy is not spending time with her brother, Jordan, 9 and their dog Tory and budgie Tom, she enjoys watching Hawaii Five-0 and reading.
Although she is not sure what she wants to be when she grows up, she has many interests.
“I play hockey, tennis, and take part in cross-country running and I swim. At our school, we are encouraged to get involved in as many activities as possible,” she said.
Earlier this year, Cassidy and her class took part in an entrepreneurship programme which saw them lending a hand at Atlantic Hope in Sea Point: a home for abandoned babies. “Seeing the tiny babies who were abandoned was very saddening for me. What they have to go through at such a young age is so unfair because I got such a good start in life. It’s horrible that they don’t even know their mothers,” she said.
The all-rounder told the Tatler her role models are her parents Keith and Belinda.
When quizzed about her thoughts on world peace, she said: “Everyone dreams of peace and in my life I strive to create peace. I believe we will only have peace if everyone is allowed to live the same life. Equality is the only way to bring peace to this world,” she said.