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San Diego teens design hunger-fighting superheroes for Comic-Con 2022

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jul 20, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Feeding San Diego and the Comic-Con Museum teamed up to create an art contest asking San Diego youth to create a superhero who fights hunger and have now selected two winners. The winning designs will be brought to life and debuted at Comic-Con 2022.

From nearly 300 entries, 14-year-old Aiden Prior and 17-year-old Sirenna Ascencio were selected as the winners.

The designs were given to well-known costume designer Allan Lavigne, who then created real costumes that actors will wear at various Comic Con events this year.

RELATED: Art contest awards student winner with San Diego Comic-Con character feature

Sirenna’s hero Demeter is an Afro-Asian woman, something she said sets the hero apart from others.

“I wanted to make something that showed representation of people of color as well. And not only that but also female because we don’t see many female heroes as well,” she said.

Sirenna said she hopes to pursue a career in art or animation.

For Aiden, winning this contest is more than recognition for his Hunger Halter hero, but a way of breaking down stereotypes.

“As a kid now people are like oh you can’t do that because you’re this. You’re autistic, you can’t do that,” he said.

Now, he hopes to inspire other kids with autism to ignore anyone who doesn’t believe in them.

“Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do anything. Like personally all my life people told me I couldn’t do anything because I am autistic but sometimes I did let that get to me and did break me down at some points, but I still got up and look where I am,” he said.

Organizers said the goal of this contest is to help educate kids on the importance of food insecurity locally. Hundreds of thousands of people are facing hunger in San Diego County, so Feeding San Diego works to rescue food and distribute it to those in need. In 2021, Feeding San Diego distributed 40.3 million meals across the county.