SULTAN — Cailee Landis, 18, is spending her winter break plastering the walls of Sultan High School with posters that have quotes, art and messages aimed at uplifting moods.
The student body vice president said she noticed her classmates seem more negative than usual lately and hopes to help students take on the new year with a new attitude.
“It’s like there’s a big, black cloud over our school,” Landis said. “I hate to say it, but it’s kind of a downer.”
Teens at Sultan High faced tragedy in 2015. They’re mourning the loss of Madison Whiddon, a 17-year-old student who died in a car accident on U.S. 2 in November.
They’ve also been through floods and school lockdowns.
That’s why Landis wanted to infuse some positive energy into her school.
“It’s such a better life when you make a good vibe,” she said.
She’s already made and collected more than 100 posters. She hopes to double that number before she’s finished with the project.
Her church youth group, teachers, parents, business owners and students have pitched in to help her reach her goal.
“It’s cool to see the whole community working together,” Landis said.
She is encouraging her classmates to keep coming up with creative posters to go along with hers. They can be any color or size, featuring art, words or both.
There’s only one rule, “no negativity — just positivity,” she said.
Principal Tami Nesting said she found out about the poster project at a parent meeting focused on setting a course to help students through the tough times.
“The concept of chiaroscuro was well-known in the world of the Italian Renaissance painter, where the lightest light was put next to the darkest dark. Cailee is offering us a chiaroscuro moment,” she wrote in an email.
Landis credits her Christian faith and inspirational quotes she sees on social media with helping her keep an optimistic outlook. She hopes the posters will be the first of many projects she takes on to uplift others.
“I really want to change the world in a positive way,” she said.