Students' artwork chosen for anti-heroin billboards

Greg Gross

Sherby Hector wanted to show the two paths someone contemplating using heroin could go down.

One is a normal life, free from drugs. The other path leads to the horrors of addiction and, in some cases, death.

Sherby, a 17-yeard-old senior at William Penn Senior High School, captured that in art that will go up on billboards across the area as part of a contest by the York County Heroin Task Force.

"We were immediately drawn to this," said Tom Kearney, the county district attorney. "This one just stood out."

Kearney and other task force members announced Sherby and York Suburban High School junior Jack Korver as winners of the contest following the county commissioner's meeting, held offsite at William Penn on Wednesday.

For their efforts, Sherby and Jack,also 17, received miniature replica billboards of their work.

The contest: Students from across the county were able to take part in the contest and roughly 18 participated, said Kyle King, spokesman for the DA's office.

Officials are hoping the low number of participants was due to this year being the inaugural year for the contest.

But the artwork they got from the students was impressive, said chief deputy prosecutor Dave Sunday.

"One thing we learned as adults is we're not as creative as kids," he said.

The artwork will go up on billboards starting in May or June, said Tom Loper, vice president/general manager of the Hellam Township-based Lamar Advertising Co., which teamed up with Penn Waste to cover costs.

The plan is to put the art on 10 to 12 billboards across the county over the next four to six months, he said.

Artwork: Neither Sherby nor Jack fancy themselves as artists. Sherby said he's going to King's College in the fall to become a physician's assistant, and Jack is more musically minded.

As Jack was coming up with ideas for his winning billboard, keeping the end result simplistic was key, especially since drivers have only a few seconds to glance at and take in a billboard, he said.

So he used silhouettes of people, one of which is playing the guitar, and the message: "Heroin's not worth the chance."

"I wanted to do something that would get the message across really simply," Jack said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.