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6 Named Winners in Poster Contest

Six Valley youths were among 12 winners chosen from more than 1,000 entries in the Affordable Housing Management Assn.'s 1997 “Drug-Free Kid” poster contest.

The contest, now in its 11th year, is designed to encourage young residents of affordable housing to stay away from drugs by using a drug-free theme as the contest’s central message.

The AHMA represents managers of privately owned, government-assisted affordable-housing complexes throughout the country.

Entries in the poster contest came from throughout the AHMA’s Pacific Southwest region, which consists of properties in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

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Submissions were judged on their ability to illustrate the contest theme as well as creativity and originality of design, organizers said.

This year, 17-year-old Texana Frances Booker II of Sylmar was named a winner for the fifth time. Texana, who graduated from Cleveland High School, is now a freshman at Cal State Northridge.

Her winning poster depicted a college campus with the message, “AHMA Kids: Start spreading the news. I’m going to pursue my long-term goal, higher education with a drug-free body!”

“One cannot set goals and pursue them properly if they are abusing their body with drugs and alcohol,” Texana said.

“Hopefully others who see this will follow my example and make their dreams come true.”

Texana and three other winners, 14-year-old Robert Guzman and siblings Julia Carranza, 10, and Elias Carranza, 7, all live in the Glen Oaks Townhomes in Sylmar.

The other two Valley winners, Jessica Stephens, 10, and Emilie Madrid, 8, live in the Strathern Court and Strathern Park apartments in Sun Valley.

Though none of the Valley participants was named a grand-prize winner this year--winners earn $1,000 scholarships and the use of their posters in a nationally distributed calendar--all will receive prizes donated by corporate sponsors.

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