For nearly a decade, COUNTRY Financial has challenged CPS high school students to create a dynamic design for the reusable canvas bags handed out at Chicago’s Farmer’s Markets – connecting creativity with nutrition and environmental stewardship.

CFMarketBag-8520This year, David Paredes became the only student ever to win the contest twice, receiving a $1,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial and having his artwork displayed on the reusable bags that will be handed out to patrons during the Farmer’s Market season. Elizabeth Sosa and Milena Maniaci, this year’s other student finalists, also received scholarships in the amount of $500.

A senior at Mather High School, David Paredes first won this competition in 2014 with a sketch of produce and farm work against a backdrop of city skyscrapers. He wowed judges again in 2016, this time with a design that perfectly depicts the contest’s 2016 theme – “Our Farms, Your Tables”.

With the Chicago flag waving proudly in the background, the design features an iconic red-and-white checked table cloth covered with fresh produce, as well as the structures that represent our city’s diverse communities.

David, Elizabeth and Milena were recognized during the official opening of the Chicago Farmer’s Markets at Daley Plaza. Huge thanks to COUNTRY Financial for their continued support of CPS students, and congrats to our student winners!