A new mural is designed to help new students feel comfortable in Mason High School, Ohio’s largest high school.
The mural was designed by artist Brent Billingsley in conjunction with students of Students Involving and Befriending Students, or SIBS. It was sponsored by the Cincinnati Reds and PNC Bank and unveiled in a public ceremony on November 17.
The artwork shows a diverse group of students along with the iconic Mason “M” design. Taylor Jackey, one of the SIBS members, said that the mural is intended to welcome freshmen and others who come to the school for the first time.
“We want them to be able to see themselves,” she said. “Many may not feel like they belong at first, but then when the see this they’ll say ‘oh, I see myself here.’”
The process took about a month, Jackey said, from concept to completion. Four SIBS members — Avery Blinn, Taylor Jackey, Nia Ramachandhran and Julia Vigil — led the effort.
“Inclusion is coming to life in this mural. It’s helping to ensure that all freshmen have a successful career here at Mason,” Billingsley said.
He also praised the students involved in helping to create the art.
“I was humbled by their eagerness to serve,” he said. “I didn’t know that they make kids like this. They want to give back.”
The mural project was supported by the Cincinnati Reds and PNC Bank as part of their initiative at select local high schools to create positive social messages for students and the community.
SIBS is a diverse student-mentoring club of Mason High School upperclassmen. The SIBS are grouped with freshmen and take on culture-enhancing projects and activities such as combating social isolation, raising money for the community food pantry, and involving students who are new or have special needs.
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