MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Eight-year-old Emma from the Aventura City of Excellence School has always been creative, but little did she know her mom Carrie had entered her and her little sister in Vista Prints’ “Masks by Me” contest.
Judged by actress Kristin Bell, it called on kids of all ages from across the country to make mask-wearing fun by designing their own.
“Actually we really liked Vista Print masks. We had already made some masks for ourselves from Vista Print before to wear. I really like their quality,” said Emma’s mom Carrie Ho. “So when I saw the contest, for me it was a no brainer. I said let’s do it again. We weren’t expecting to win. We were just happy to be very creative and do this artwork together.”
But Emma did win, a shock to her and her family.
“My mother told me and she said I won,” said Emma. “I was so excited. I was so emotional for winning all those prizes.”
Vista Print’s contest was all about getting kids to feel comfortable in the new normal of back to school.
“We wanted to encourage them to feel comfortable wearing masks, having students design their own masks. That’s the premise behind the contest. It allows them to have some control and really make mask-wearing more fun, more personal,” said Vista Prints’ Erin Shea.
The kids received a template of a mask and were told to just be creative.
“I didn’t have any ideas so I decided to do little splatters and I accidentally got some water on my brush and then it started to swirl and it made it so beautiful,” said Emma.
“Emma’s mask was so unique, we loved her design, we love the colors that she used and she really brought some fun and passion to her design that we were really drawn to,” said Shea.
Emma was one of six winners nationwide. Her prize was $500 for back to school supplies, 30 masks for their friends and family, plus 500 masks for her school.
“We were so happy and we were just thinking about what an accomplishment. We are so honored to be a part of this,” said Carrie Ho.
Emma knew Kristin Bell was an actress, but it wasn’t until she was interviewed by CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo that she found out Bell is the voice of Anna from the hit film “Frozen.”
“So, you know that Anna from “Frozen” is the one that actually picked you as one of the winners,” Petrillo told her.
“What? ” replied Emma. “That’s so crazy!”
“Yeah, we forgot to tell her that part,” Emma’s mom Carrie said with a laugh.
Emma plans to share some of the $500 prize money with her sister and is thrilled to have her masks given to everyone at her school.