Carmen Cardozo Wins Bergen County’s Stigma-Free Sticker Contest


Carmen Cardozo pictured holding her first place award!

Carmen Cardozo, a Senior at Becton, won first place in Bergen County’s Stigma-Free Sticker Contest on May 3 2023. The prompt was to create original sticker artwork representing what it meant to be stigma-free to them. This is Becton’s first year participating in the contest. Cardozo won with a bubbly, cartoonish piece of art that she says “the inspiration came naturally” for. It started when Ms. Jessica Bond, Becton’s Mental Health Coordinator, informed all of the Art Department about this contest. They then relayed it back to our students. “I only draw if I have free time in class or home because I have to go to work,” Cardozo verified, “But if I have a day off, I’ll spend most of my time drawing on my iPad.” For somebody who says she does not prioritize drawing on a day-to-day basis, she can sure draw on the fly! 

In regard to the event where she was crowned first place, Cardozo recalls her shock, “I wasn’t aware there was going to be first, second, and third places. I wasn’t expecting it to be so grand!” She seemed immediately gleeful about the memory and shared further, “I’m very happy that teachers understand that we deal with this stuff because I struggle with anxiety.”

Becton staff pictured with Carmen.

Rosemary Borroso-Ramirez, Becton’s Psychologist who was in attendance when Cardozo won first place, tells what it means to her to be stigma-free; “Stigma-free for me is like any other thing– being able to be who you are with nobody judging you in any way,” she started. “Stigma-free in mental health is almost like people can’t feel what they want to feel. They feel they are in a box or as if you are seen as weak if you show how you really feel– which is not true. Stigma-free means being able to feel who you are on the good days and the bad days.”

Look forward to Becton staff representing Cardozo’s sticker design for Mental Health Awareness Month. Becton is prideful in having staff that value being stigma-free in mental health. We are proud of Carmen and this momentous feat!