Prevent Cancer awardee announces winners of sun safety contest

Published on April 4, 2014

Updated on February 13, 2018

Students across the country win iPads by encouraging their peers to be sun safe.

With a $10,000 community grant from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, The Skin Cancer Foundation held a contest in schools across the country to encourage students to spread the word about sun safety. We checked in with Whitney Potter, Director of Special Projects, to learn about the results of their educational contest:


This past fall, The Skin Cancer Foundation launched a national back-to-school contest called “I Am Sun Smart” as part of Prevent Cancer’s Sun Smart U youth education program. The goal of the competition was to raise skin cancer awareness amongst middle and high school students. Teachers were inspired to educate their students about the importance of sun safety by teaching the program’s “Rays Awareness” lesson. They then asked their students to create either a digital poster or a video that communicates sun protective behaviors to their peers in creative and clever ways.

“Our hope is to influence youth behavior at a very crucial time in their development when it comes to making sun-protection decisions,” said The Skin Cancer Foundation member Jessica Krant, MD, who medically reviewed the Sun Smart U education program. “Only 25 percent of 14-year-olds in the U.S. use sunscreen on a regular basis, and between the ages of 11 and 14, young people often significantly decrease their use of sun protection.”

The “I Am Sun Smart” contest results are in! After many entries and much consideration, five lucky winners were selected and received iPads in recognition of their work. (Their teachers also received iPads.) Being a winner of the contest was very meaningful for one particular participant, Cassidy. After we notified Cassidy’s teacher that Cassidy had won, her teacher became emotional and told us that Cassidy’s grandfather had recently passed away from melanoma. Cassidy is very passionate about sun safety and we are so thrilled that she was selected as a winner. Congratulations to all of our winners!

High School Poster Winner: Teacher Erika Prater and her student Cassidy (Texas) (poster seen above)

Middle School Video Winner: Teacher Kathy Sutton and her student Natalie (Michigan)

Middle School Poster Winners: Teacher Dana Farrell and her students Megan, Ana, James, and Hunter (Indiana)



High School Video Winners: Teacher Kara Thinnes and her students Jonathan, Kyle, Maya, Elizabeth, and Sabrina (California)


High School Video Honorable Mention: Teacher Annie Stenvig and her student Sophie (South Dakota)

A big thanks to the Prevent Cancer Foundation for enabling The Skin Cancer Foundation to develop this engaging promotional contest, which helped us reach more teens and their communities with critical information about skin cancer prevention and detection. For more info, visit

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