Sober Subjects Topics of Rosemont Reflections


Those who think middle school students are superficial have not met Nicholas Cabalo or Megan Lee. These two artists/philosophers who recently promoted from Rosemont Middle School looked deep into issues that affect kids their age and society in general. They shared their artistry through the PTA Reflections project, a national arts recognition and achievement program for students. Each year the PTA presents students with a theme that they use as the foundation of their entries. There are six types of artwork accepted, including dance/choreography, photography, film production, music composition, visual arts and literature. This year the theme was “Within Reach.”

The artwork is presented and judged first within each school. Those who place first then go onto Glendale Unified District and, from there, to First District, which includes schools from Burbank to Pomona. Those winners move onto state then the national stage.

Cabalo went on to First District and Lee made it to state.

Megan Lee looked at the issue of suicide and how that affects friends left behind.

“I wrote about a boy going through the grieving [process],” she said. Lee’s literary project was named “Strawberries & Hotdogs.”

“I think [I was inspired] on a day I was feeling down, I didn’t feel well,” she said. “We had a student commit suicide at our high school and I thought, ‘What would it be like to have someone close to you commit suicide?’”

She was referring to a 15-year-old boy who took his own life at Crescenta Valley High School in 2012. Although Lee would have been in elementary school at the time, the tragedy is still something that she thinks about.

She said she wanted, through her writing, to give kids hope. She felt that her story was in line with the Reflections theme because hope is within reach, whether by someone who is thinking of self-harming or someone who is dealing with a loss.

“I feel hope is within reach,” she said.

For his entry, Cabalo presented a painting titled, “The Apple of My Eye.”

“My painting shows three monsters working together to achieve the same goal,” he said. “No matter what their backgrounds, they are helping each other.”

The monsters are all different shapes and colors. For Cabalo, this was an example of the differences within society.

“Our country has struggled in uniting all of us,” he said. “We are judging people based on their background, religion or color.”

His painting, he said, is an example of how, when everyone works together, they can reach a common goal.