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GF students demonstrate how to “Be the Change” with community mural


January 7, 2013

Granite Falls students from the local Youth Coalition demonstrated their commitment to “Be the Change” when they unveiled the first city mural on December 11 at Jim Holm Park located at 302 S. Granite Ave. in Granite Falls.

The Youth Coalition began a “Be the Change” club several years ago as a result of the Challenge Day program. The mural’s message, Just One Choice, will be on the side of the senior center building, which faces the park where students gather.

The Youth Coalition, supported by the Granite Falls Community Coalition, Snohomish County Prevention Council, and the Granite Falls Chamber of Commerce, is spreading its message of Just One Choice through this mural project and other avenues.

The Just One Choice logo was first unveiled at an Everett Aqua Sox game in the spring of 2011 and the message was also incorporated into public service announcements on local radio stations.

Ally Nelson, President and Co-founder of the Youth Coalition, said the Just One Choice logo was developed in the winter of 2010.

“The Youth Coalition wants to promote the importance of making positive choices because just one positive choice can be a step forward. We want teenagers to know that with just one choice, small or large, they can make a difference in their own lives for years to come.”

One side of the mural shows positive choices being made and the other side negative choices. In all, 24 students from Crossroads High School and Granite Falls High School have helped to paint the mural under the guidance of Trevor Williams, a local artist and teacher at Crossroads High School.

Nelson thinks the mural project is a new approach to drug, alcohol, dropout, and violence prevention. Nelson said the location of the mural was intentional. “This is the park where most of the kids hang out and friends influence choices. Hopefully they will see the mural and make the right choice.”

The mural project was inspired from successful programs such as the Urban Art Works in the SoDo district of Seattle and the King County Metro Transit Bus Shelter Mural Project. The project was funded by a Snohomish County grant.

In addition, a memorial bench honoring youth who have lost their lives will also be dedicated when the mural is unveiled.


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