Student Winners

Disciple of Christ 35th Anniversary Student Showcase Competition

1st Place Winners and Prize Selection (Certificate, Ribbon, Cash Prize):

Art LINK Sara Blandon St. Elizabeth Seton 8th Grade $100 Cash
Video LINK Jasmine Aviles St. Catherine 8th Grade $100 Cash
Essay LINK Ava Irion St. Francis Xavier 8th Grade $100 Cash

HONORABLE Mention (Certificate and Ribbon):

Art LINK Taylor Copeland St. Francis Xavier 8th Grade
Video LINK Theresa Harrell St. Martha 7th Grade
Essay LINK Christopher Wasdin St. Mary 8th Grade

1st Place WINNER ART – Sara Blandon, St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School, Naples

Description: (link above)
When I think of a disciple of Christ, my mind goes directly to Saint Teresa of Calcutta. I drew Saint Teresa of Calcutta holding a malnourished baby to represent, the love that she put in caring for those who were in need. Mother Teresa has exerted a great influence on all individuals. She loved people with all her heart, even those with the worst diseases. Mother Teresa renounced all her wealth to serve those who had no food, shelter, a good health nor clothing. With the devotion she gave, she became that true reflection of our Lord. A true disciple is one who gives up everything and helps those who truly need help. But most importantly, a true disciple is one who leads people closer to God. In conclusion, St. Teresa of Calcutta is a true disciple of Christ with all the work she did, she is a human who we should admire to become that true disciple of Christ.  

HONORABLE MENTION ART – Taylor Copeland, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Fort Myers

Description: (link above)
I used a digital art application to create my depiction of a Disciple of Christ. I chose St. Dorcas, also known as St. Tabitha, because I feel women don’t have as much representation in the Bible as male disciples. It is stated that Dorcas was the first female disciple. She was alive the same time as St. Peter, and she lived in Joppa. She spent all of her life caring for the sick and the poor. When she died, the people who knew St. Dorcas sent for Peter, who was in a nearby town. Peter knelt down and said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes. Peter had brought her back to life! I find her story beautiful and inspiring. She is my favorite disciple especially because of the kindness she displayed to others.


1st Place WINNER – Ava Irion, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Fort Myers
There are many ways in which a person can be a Disciple of Christ. If someone is a Disciple of Christ, he or she respects and loves all humankind no matter the circumstance. Even more importantly, a disciple of Christ loves God more than their possessions and even more than their family. For example, John 8:31 states that, “A disciple loves others as Jesus has loved him.” By following the Ten Commandments, by helping others in everyday life, and by evangelizing, anyone can become a wonderful disciple of Christ. This is not an easy task, but someone who is a true disciple will surrender everything for God. The following will focus on traits that true disciples display:  kindness, acceptance, and character.
To begin, kindness is one of the prime traits that someone needs in order to be a Discipline of Christ and to live the way Jesus did. Kindness was displayed by Jesus in many ways throughout his life. He did this by healing, caring, and showing mercy for others. He never judged nor thought that he was better than others. Instead, he helped those who were different. No matter who they were or where they came from, Jesus showed kindness to everyone he came across. Some might think that this would be easy to do, however Jesus even showed immense kindness toward his enemies. Matthew 5:44 explains, “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Jesus followed these words and was kind to those who persecuted him and to those who cursed him. So the challenge is to live and act the way that Jesus did in his life.  If we use kindness towards our neighbors, loved ones, and enemies more often in our everyday lives, we will be closer to living as a Disciple of Christ. Next, Jesus showed acceptance to others in his life. Acceptance of those who may look or act differently is very hard to do. However, all people need to be treated with human dignity and respect. Jesus showed acceptance many times in the Bible. One example is in Matthew 8:14 when Jesus touched the untouchable. Back in the time of Jesus, people who were visibly ill were outcasts. They were the “scraps” of the society. However, Jesus still loved them very much. In Matthew 8:14, a leprous man approached Jesus as he was walking up a mountain side. The man begged Jesus to be healed. Jesus broke all of the laws and boundaries as he walked up to the leper man and touched him. In one small, single touch, the leper was healed and was free to live the rest of his life. The man was cast out from society because of his differences but Jesus accepted him. Jesus was the only one who still saw this man as a human and not as some sort of monster. This acceptance from Jesus changed the man’s life. Jesus chose tosee him as a real person and not as a plague. This enabled the man to be cured. Acceptance was powerful and lifechanging, as it can be in each person’s daily life.

Finally, character is a trait that can turn an ordinary person into someone who loves Jesus with all of their heart, mind, and soul. Character can mean that someone is a role model, and that this person cares for others.Parents are a great example of this, as they are role models to their children. Parents can teach lifelong lessons such as, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” Parents model behavior for their children to learn and to act upon as the children grow into adults. Parents show their children how to treat others with respect. No matter what life throws at someone, that person can look to the character of their parents and think about what they would do in that situation. Another role model with strong character is Jesus. Jesus displayed character by showing forgiveness, love, and compassion. To act like Jesus means to not hold a grudge, to never wish harm to anyone, and to never try to one up someone to feel superior. Jesus forgave the people that killed him. Forgiveness in today’s world might not have to be that extreme, but one should never hold a grudge and should learn to love those who hurt them. The love of Jesus is the most radiant and powerful love ever. People need to love as he does. They need to love their neighbors and love him, with all of their hearts, minds, and souls. Finally, Jesus always had compassion for everyone he came across. Instead of worrying for himself, he thought of others and how he could help them. If humans learn from their parents and demonstrate the great character of Jesus, anyone can become a Disciple of Christ.

Overall, a Disciple of Christ needs to have the traits of kindness, acceptance, and character. If someone can demonstrate these virtues to others the way that Jesus did, they are becoming a Disciple of Christ. The core of being a Disciple of Christ is interesting and complex, but, ultimately, it means living like Jesus did. If people truly love Jesus and act with kindness, acceptance, and character, they can be one of the strongest and most amazing Disciples of Christ. How will you use these traits to become a Disciple of Christ?

HONORABLE MENTION – Christopher Wasdin, St. Mary Academy, Sarasota
What does it mean to be a Disciple of Christ? It is  helping other people that are poor, sick, or they need food.  We can be merciful to everyone if they are being mean or cruel. Forgiving others will help them to forgive other people too.
You can pray for those who have died and meet people who have done bad things and talk to them. You can help people who get hurt and make sure they will be okay. You can give people that don’t have much clothing your old clothes,  and give people homes, and give them water.

Visiting the sick to pray for them so they will get better soon is being a disciple of Christ.  You can bury those who have helped us or served us who had a great heart. Being a disciple is not just doing for yourself.  If you truly care about other people and you want to make the world a better place you will do things for them. If you want to be a disciple you could help out your neighbors, friends, or family.