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Artwork wins Brownsville fifth-grader Caribbean cruise

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Nia-Isabella Garza, 11, earns top honor in Adopt-A-Beach Children’s Art Contest

Contact: Jim Suydam
PRESS RELEASE — Apr 12, 2013

AUSTIN — Nia-Isabella Garza, a fifth grader from Ortiz Elementary in Brownsville, is the grand prize winner for the Texas General Land Office’s Adopt-A-Beach Treasures of the Texas Coast Children’s Art Contest.


Garza’s watercolor shows a child with a recycling bag picking up litter on a Texas beach. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson selected Garza’s art from the more than 3,300 entries from across the state.


“This peaceful beach scene beautifully carries the Adopt-A-Beach message that Trashing Texas Beaches isn’t cool,” Patterson said. “Twice a year, youth just like the one in this watercolor learn a real-world lesson about the impact of litter on our beaches through the Adopt-A-Beach cleanups.”


Garza’s image, along with 39 runners up, will appear on the cover of the 2014 Adopt-A-Beach calendar.


The annual competition encourages schoolchildren to learn more about the Texas coast and express what they’ve learned through their art. Open to students in grades K-6 across Texas, the contest motivates thousands of young artists each year. 


Garza’s winning watercolor earns two round-trip, coach-class tickets from United Airlines to any United destination anywhere in North America, one 7-night Caribbean cruise from Royal Caribbean International departing out of Galveston, Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale  and a class party at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels. The grand prize winner's teacher, Irma DeLeon, also receives two round-trip coach-class tickets from United Airlines and one 7-night Caribbean cruise courtesy of Royal Caribbean International.


Ten winners were chosen from each of four grade-level categories (K – 2nd, 3rd – 4th, 5th, and 6th) for a total of 40 winners. One grand prize winner was chosen from among the 40 finalists.

All 40 winners receive a ticket to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, two all-day passes to Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, a ticket to the permanent exhibit hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a ticket to the Houston Zoo, a certificate of recognition and prizes from the Texas General Land Office and a calendar displaying the winning artwork. This year’s contest sponsors are Royal Caribbean International, United Airlines, Schlitterbahn Waterparks, the Texas State Aquarium, the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo.


For more information on the “Treasures of the Texas Coast” Children’s Art Contest, please contact the General Land Office at 1-877-TXCOAST or visit our website at



2013 Treasures of the Texas Coast Children’s Art Contest winners

Name                                      Age                 City

Valerie Alvarenga                   10                    Houston

Kerigan Baumgartner               8                      Victoria

Keerthi Bhoda                       10                    Spring

Eve Brogger                            7                      Victoria

Daniel Campos                       9                      San Antonio

Katherine Chapman                12                    Liberty City

Megan Do                              12                    Orange

Alison Duncan                        10                    Corpus Christi

Rubí Escobedo                         8                      Dallas

Jennifer Fernandez                  11                    The Woodlands

Deyanira Garza                        7                      Houston

Nia-Isabella Garza                   11               Brownsville – Grand Prize Winner

Jordon Geelhoed                     11                    San Antonio

Isaiah Gomez                         10                    Driscoll

Israel González                        7                      Houston

Maya Gonzalez                         8                      Houston

Elle Gorman                             7                      San Antonio

Anna Heavsler                         10                    Houston

Marissa Kapp                          12                    Houston

Carter Kickendahl                      6                      Victoria

Hyekyeong Lee                         8                      Corpus Christi

Jessica Liu                               10                    Katy

Lindsey London                         8                      Driscoll

Mia Mabray                               7                      Victoria

Yulisa Melendez                       11                    Houston

Jarely Mendez                          11                    Houston

Megan Miori                              8                      Victoria

Cho Young Park                        8                      Corpus Christi

Carley Petru                            10                    Victoria

Bella Pupi                                 4                      Victoria

Cynthia Renteria                       9                      Driscoll

Nathaly Sainz                          12                    Brownsville

Kaela Smith                            12                    McGregor

Caroline Spence                      10                    Richardson

Ezra Suk                                 10                    Katy

Emma Valdez                          12                    San Antonio

Anna Valenzuela                       8                      Victoria

Rachel Ward                           11                    Victoria

Christopher Webb                   12                    Sweeny

Malika Zahrooni                      12                    San Antonio



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Jim Suydam
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