Thank you to everyone who joined us live on March 10 for the Regional Celebration. What a privilege and honor it was to celebrate this year’s Regional Award winners, as well as all of our Remote Programs participants. If you’d like to revisit the joyous occasion, you can find a recording of it here.
This year, the Scholastic Awards received nearly 260,000 entries nationally; 20,000 entries were from the Remote Programs alone! At the regional level, students have the opportunity to earn the following awards: Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, American Visions Nominee, and American Voices Nominee. Of the amazing works submitted to our Remote Programs, 12% of all works received an Honorable Mention, 9% of all works received a Silver Key, and only 5% of all works received a Gold Key. Finally, every year, each remote program region selects five students as American Voices & Visions Nominees. These works are carefully selected as the most standout pieces in the region. Can we take a moment to celebrate the amazing achievements of this year’s creative young artists and writers!
Thank you to everyone who was brave enough to share their incredible work with us! Regardless of the outcome of the awards, we hope you’re proud of the work you accomplished; your hard work is an achievement in and of itself.
But guess what? The fun isn’t over! Regional recipients of the Gold Key award and the American Visions & Voices Nominees automatically advance to national judging and are considered for national awards, including Gold Medal, Silver Medal with Distinction, Silver Medal, and direct scholarship awards. Jurors select work for national recognition based on three criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice. National Medals will be announced on National Announcement Day, March 23, 2022, at 5:00 pm ET. Log in to your account on or after this date to see if you received a National Medal, and check our website to find details about the National Ceremony in June!
For those curious about the National Ceremony, the Ceremony is an opportunity for us to highlight National Medalists from all over the country, as well as our scholarship winners and Gold Medal Portfolio Award winners. Last year’s virtual National Ceremony featured special guests Oprah Winfrey, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Sara Bareilles, Kristen Bell, Tituss Burgess, Kelly Clarkson, Reese Witherspoon, and Tschabalala Self! Additionally, works that receive a National Medal are displayed in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards online gallery, and a selection of National Medalist works will be included in the Awards’ publications, Best Teen Art and Best Teen Writing.
These are just some of the events we’re looking forward to this spring, but in the meantime, we want to give one more shoutout to our Regional Award winners and participants. This week, we’re featuring Art and Writing Portfolio works by teens from our Remote Programs community. Portfolio entries consist of six works that can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories. The Portfolio category is only available to students in Grade 12. While we will not be able to feature all of our incredible Remote Programs portfolios in this post, you can head to your regional webpage for a list of the award-winning works in your region.
Congratulations again to everyone who participated, and a special shoutout to our Gold Medal Portfolio Award winners!
Art and Writing Portfolios
Samantha Doktor, Alone, Art Portfolio. Grade 12. Red Mountain High School, Mesa, AZ. Nicholas Gratzl, Educator. Silver Key
Dana Serea, The Moments That Define Us, Writing Portfolio. Grade 12. Rutherford High School, Rutherford, NJ. Melissa Dougard and Nicole Bowden, Educators. Honorable Mention
I saw her crimson hair vanish into locks of chestnut. The crashing waves of the ocean on her face disappeared into a serene pond with no ripple to be seen. I saw her whimsical, energetic spirit in my eyes. I was her, and she was I. As I told her goodbye, I felt a sudden chill and the immense joy of realizing who I really am.
I realize how much farther we have to go, and I decide it’s okay that we’ll never look like the girls plastered on the TV screen. Because they’re beautiful like them. And we’re beautiful like us.
English is a wide river. He was thrown into it, and now he must endure the currents of language. Each day he’s drowning, gasping for air. He’s alone in the most crowded body of water.
For him, Romanian is a gentle stream. In his old language, he has full control, but not here. Not yet. I imagine him trying to navigate through this new life. He doesn’t know how to say, “How do I get home?”
The Danube River flows from her veins
down calloused palms and ridged layers of skin,
through fingernails encrusted with soil,
her proud warrior scars.
Her knuckles are the Carpathian Mountains
that I climb to reach her beating heart.
We gently tuck the silky mixture in,
wrapping the velvet, translucent layers.
Liquid sunflower oil touches my skin
when I place the pieces in warm prayers.
Once, there lived a grandmother
and a granddaughter who were separated by sea,
but they were always close.”
Tasnim Loqman, Bangladeshi American Identity, Art Portfolio. Grade 12. Ward Melville Senior High School, East Setauket, NY. Stefanie Dilorenzo, Educator. Honorable Mention
Sherry Shu, In Medias Res, Writing Portfolio. Grade 12. St. Robert Catholic High School, Thornhill, ON. Christopher Sarracini, Educator. Honorable Mention
I understand if this took you a while to open.
I understand if the pain of seeing my name — of seeing a country you never called home — was too hard to bear.
But now that the world has gone dormant and we’ve finally found the time to reflect, I’ve started to think of you, of us. Of the beautiful friendship we shared before it crumbled beneath our fingertips.
Even better, directly engage in calm and rational conversations with people on the other side of the spectrum, to depoliticize an issue and change it from a political problem to a human problem.
Life is sweet.
Life is sweet.
Life is sweet.
Let’s just say I had to swallow that one twice.
I’m a five-foot fourteen-year-old, barely taller than some of the first graders, and I’ve become a one-woman zookeeper — breaking up fights, telling the edgy girl not to swear, consoling the child bursting into tears, and plastering on a smile for my supervisors because everything is completely. under. Control.
Perhaps we’ve started desperately bingeing our favorite books, movies and TV shows to partake in the joyful moments of on-screen couples, to believe that soulmates do end up together, and to fill our need for love and dependency without having to meet that special someone…
Throughout these trying times, escape rooms continue to bring people closer together, while also reinforcing crucial teamwork and learning skills in the minds of its participants.
Roy Kim, Human Nature, Art Portfolio. Grade 12. University High School, Irvine, CA. Dana Kramer, Educator. Silver Key
Muna Barreh, Forced Independence: A Reflection, Writing Portfolio. Grade 12. Austin Peace Academy, Austin, TX. Melinda Walker, Educator. Gold Key
Insecurity in its purest, simplest form.
How free we are! How free are we..?
And that is life.
It is finding contentment in the mountain climb.
It is understanding that the monster we so often run from isn’t a monster of numbness, it’s the action of presence.
Reliant bone and skin filled with misery
A life lived in search of a life worth living
No appreciation of now
An ingratitude that causes people to look afar
That causes people to escape
Know the imperfection in humanity
Know no one to look up to
So many obstacles
Preventing your happiness
In this one life
I don’t think the average seventeen year old ponders this deeply about how they want to lead their life. And even if I am still figuring out what path of life I want to take, one thing is for sure: the path I choose to pave is unarguably mine.
Autumn Kim, My Childhood, Art Portfolio. Grade 12. Delta Secondary School, Delta, BC. Keith Kwon, Educator. Gold Key
Sidney Muntean, Amalgamated Moments, Writing Portfolio. Grade 12. Orange County School of the Arts, Santa Ana, CA. Nikkia Pannell, Educator. Gold Key
Still, I can’t find any resemblance of my past or current selves in the curvature of my reflection’s face. There is no trace of the person I used to know nor the person that I feel like I am now. All I can see in my reflection is silence.
I wonder if people are like that too—if they really just wilt and die and fade away or if it’s possible to sweep them up in your arms and press them in like a heavy book. Or maybe that’s what memories are: moments tucked in the pages of our minds, forever in full bloom, forever preserved.
my heart speaks to me through beats
it tells me, at times, tales of great peril,
of the day i will die, of the day i could die
i can never tell them apart
other times it sings me songs of love,
for myself, by myself but most times
it tells me it is cold.
I’d rather give in to entropy than be stationary, because I can’t imagine how the sole purpose of some is nothing other than to miserably vibrate their atoms, forever stuck in equilibrium.
There is a forest inside of me. I can feel it breathing, its branches scraping against the lining of my gut when I inhale too hard. Although I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, I like to imagine that a plethora of flowers resides in my forest, with the brightest and boldest colors of vermillion and fuchsia and lime and cyan that scatter the floor like fallen stars.
Every night, I sweep up the box and throw it in my trashcan, and every night, my lonely takes it out again.
All recipients of Regional Awards (Gold Keys, Silver Keys, and Honorable Mentions) can download a digital certificate and official Letter of Awards from the main page of their dashboard. These downloads will be available until March 22, 2022. To see a full list of award recipients in your region and more information about award materials, check out your regional web page by searching your school’s zip code here.
For all students currently in grades 7–11 who entered the Awards, keep creating this year! The new projects you’re exploring this spring are eligible for the 2023 Awards–hang onto them until September when you can start submitting again.
To all of our Gold Key Award winners and American Voices & Visions Nominees, stay tuned for National Announcement Day. On March 23 at 5:00 pm ET, check medals.artandwriting.org or your dashboard to see our 2022 National Medalists!
To our Remote Programs community, if you haven’t already, check out our 2022 Regional Award Highlights blog series. We’ve had the privilege of highlighting several of our Remote Programs Regional Award recipients, including American Voices and Visions Nominees, Silver Key and Honorable Mentions, and Gold Key recipients. This will be the last post in the Regional Awards series, but we’re not done yet; we still have National Awards season to look forward to! We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our Remote Programs National Medalists on the blog later this spring. Until then!
Looking for more opportunities to be recognized? Students of African descent are invited to participate in local and national ACT-SO competitions! NAACP’s ACT-SO is a community-based program that provides a forum for youth of African descent to receive recognition for their achievements in academics, literary arts, visual arts, and the sciences.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are open for entries annually from September through December. See upcoming important dates to learn more about what’s next for the Awards.