TEMPE, Ariz. - Last year, a Tempe high school student took second place in a design contest sponsored by Valley Metro - only to come back this year and win it all.
It was a big day for Sydney Storment, a junior at Marcos de Niza High School, after winning first place in the Design a Transit Wrap contest.
"I kind of just poured my heart into it," said Storment. "I was really happy with the design, and I couldn't have done it without [my teacher's] encouragement."
Sydney worked closely with her teacher, who guided and supported her.
"I actually did this whole design from my bedroom, which is super weird because usually I'm doing most of my art from school," the high school student said. "But it was kind of fun because my family got to see it come together, and me and Ms. Guzman were constantly sending pictures back and forth and…it really came together, I think."
Ms. Guzman expressed her pride to see her student's hard work come to fruition.
"Honestly it makes me want to cry," Guzman said. "It's just so nice to see all of the hard work that the students have done, just providing art in the schools, it leads to something like this that can be shared with the community."
Sydney, who took second place last year, came back stronger this year with a unity-themed design.
"Ultimately, I just wanted something that could portray everyday people, aspects of Arizona and just really bright colors too," said Sydney.
This year's second place winner was Kimberly Nunez, a Marcos de Niza junior focused on the beauty the state has to offer.
"I was, like, really inspired by just the way buses move….especially the light rail," said Nunez. "I really like how when it moves it creates this accordion-like thing, and that was a big inspiration…then the Grand Canyon and how beautiful it is, and the beauty of Arizona in general."
Valley Metro says the contest provides a forum to showcase artistic talent, instill a sense of pride and ownership of the system and help develop a new generation of passengers.
This year, nearly 50 students entered the contest from 18 schools and 11 different towns and cities. Pinnacle High School student Pranathi Arum placed third.
Sydney Storment's design will be featured on a Valley Metro bus and light rail train for an entire year.
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