Influencer of the Week: Jaida Hackard, Windermere Elementary

Jaida Hackard, a fifth-grader, won the school's Earth Day T-shirt design contest last spring.

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  • | 11:30 a.m. January 27, 2021
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Last spring, Windermere Elementary hosted an Earth Day T-shirt design contest, with the winning student’s design printed on T-shirts and sold as a fundraiser for eco-friendly projects around campus. Fifth-grader Jaida Hackard came up with the winning artwork — a colorful flower with Earth at its center — and the Parent-Teacher Organization has now sold more than 60 shirts featuring her design. Jaida loves seeing others wear her art and is proud to have had a hand in fundraising for her school’s Earth Day endeavors. 


Why do you love your school?

The teachers and staff are really nice, and they’re polite, they’re funny, they keep encouraging me to learn. When times are tough, they help me get to my goals.

Tell us about your T-shirt design and the Earth Day contest. How did you come up with your design?

I originally got my inspiration from “The Lorax” and trees. I thought it was a unique and beautiful design. “The Lorax” is a popular Earth Day story, and the contest was for a fundraiser to help with Earth Day projects. We could do almost anything — the only exception was no words.

How long did it take you to create your design?

It didn’t take me very long. The teacher put on the movie, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, what am I going to do — a flower? A tree?” Then I changed it up a little bit, added some more colors and put Earth in the middle of the flowers.

What have you learned about Earth Day?

I’ve learned that we only have one Earth and we should make it the best and keep it as long as we possibly can, because it’s the only one we have, and we should protect it.

How does it feel to see people wearing your design?

It’s humbling. I laugh, and if they walk by I say, “I like your shirt.” 

What was your reaction when you found out you had the winning design?

I originally found out when the teachers were doing a caravan over the summer. The teachers from my school were going through the neighborhoods, and the art teacher leaned out the window of her car and she shouted, “Jaida, you won!” 

Who is your biggest role model or inspiration?

I haven’t decided on that, really. I have lots of role models and they inspire me to keep going and get to my goals even if they aren’t realistic. My coaches, parents, teachers and other people (inspire me).

What is your favorite book you’ve read and why?

My favorite series is Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It focuses on Greek mythology and the gods. I’m fascinated by that, and I think it’s just a really neat topic. 

What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

I’m not sure yet, even though a lot of other kids know, but I think it would be neat to be an author, because I could inspire others like they inspired me. Sometimes, we have a literacy week where we’re given a topic … and we can write a poem or mini story that we can put in a packet of stories, so I’ve done that before.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

There are so many possibilities! I just settled on breathing underwater, because I think mankind should explore the world we have before going out into who-knows-where in space.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to play tennis and play with my kitten. I have a Nintendo Switch, and I like to play “The Legend of Zelda” on it. I like to read.

Tell us about your kitten.

She’s a Ragdoll kitten, basically the most floppiest cat you can get. She’s white, she has a little stripe on her nose. Her tail is gray, her ears are grayish and just her paws are brown. She’s probably four-and-a-half months old, and her name is Mim — Marvelous Mad Madam Mim.