La Palma Teen's Artwork on Display at O.C. Bus Shelters

Class of 2024 graduating senior from the Anaheim Union High School District wins art contest focused on discouraging substance use among youth.

La Palma Teen's Artwork on Display at O.C. Bus Shelters
Recent Kennedy High School graduate David Alfaro's winning artwork is on display at bus shelters in Orange County.

"Substance-free is alright with me."

That's the message a La Palma teenager is spreading with Orange County through his original artwork that is now displayed on transit shelters and buses in the region.

The poster by John F. Kennedy High School Class of 2024 graduate David Alfaro was recently unveiled on a Cypress bus shelter and will be featured on other transit locations and buses.

Alfaro’s work was selected for this honor after receiving the highest accolades in a district-wide Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) art contest titled “Substance-free is the Way to Be."

The contest was hosted by AUHSD and the Irvine-based nonprofit Waymakers, according to Waymakers' spokesperson Jenny Wedge. More than 100 students submitted artwork. Wedge said the goal of the contest’s drug prevention theme was to reduce youth substance abuse and promote healthy alternatives.

Alfaro’s winning entry, “Substance Free is Alright with Me,” illustrates a healthy life without the abuse of substances by depicting aspects of living a healthy lifestyle, such as eating right and socializing regularly, on a wheel.

Alfaro and his family gathered with the Orange County Health Care Agency and Waymakers for the official unveiling in May. The group watched the unfolding of a 4-feet by 6-feet ad displaying Alfaro’s artwork at the bus stop in front of Veterans Park on Ball Road near the intersection of Sorrento Drive in Cypress.
Alfaro said he considers himself more of a musical artist (trumpet) but decided to enter the contest to explore his visual artistic side.

“I’m more of a musical artist now,” said Alfaro in an interview, but said his artistry “kind of started with graphic design so I wanted to explore more of the visual side.”
In addition, he said vaping is a big problem among high school students and Alfaro said he wanted his artwork to represent this problem.

“What I was hoping to achieve was kind of to give more positive alternatives to vaping because I know some people who do it do it for reasons of like, they think they’re like stressed out or having like troubles at home,” said Alfaro.
“I figured this might help with an alternative,” he added.

Alfaro said he enjoyed participating in the contest and said he has enrolled in Cypress College. Long term, Alfaro said he planned to major in history, and perhaps art.

“I’m fascinated with Mesoamerican Colombian history, especially the art,” the graduating senior said.

The winning artwork will be displayed at four locations through July 8, 2024, including three additional displays located at the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Valley View Avenue in the city of Buena Park, the intersection of Valley View Avenue and Fred Drive, and the intersection of Lincoln and Walker Street in Cypress. Additionally, the ad is featured on the interior of 13 buses running throughout Orange County through June 30, 2024.  

According to Wedge, for more than five decades, Waymakers has assisted organizations like the Anaheim Union High School District with programs to deal with substance abuse by focusing on prevention.

Waymakers’ Project PATH (Positive Action Toward Health) has been providing alcohol and drug prevention services in AUHSD for the past four years, she said.
By providing services and creatively discussing substance use prevention, Waymakers works to help guide positive change. PATH is a program that strives to create safe and healthy neighborhoods by addressing public health issues through education, training, technical assistance, and media campaigns.

According to Waymakers, every day throughout Orange County, people find hope after trauma. They don’t simply survive; they find ways to heal – all with the help of Waymakers.

Their ten model programs guide over 120,000 abused children, crime victims, struggling families, acting-out adolescents and people needing mediation services annually.

Waymakers has been sheltering children, supporting victims, counseling families, resolving conflicts and educating communities in Orange County since 1972. For more information on Waymakers, visit

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