Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Article by: Shirley Ezerins, Advertising & Design Teacher

Artwork by: Stephannie Valle, Advertising and Design Senior


Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program and become a part of the community of young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers—along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process.


The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. The Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Through the Awards, students receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. Students across America submitted nearly 350,000 original works this year in 29 different categories of art and writing.


At Southeastern Regional Technical High School, design students are instructed to do their best on each and every project. They are also encouraged to participate in design competitions and exhibits. This helps students develop confidence and work for the portfolios. Of the students that entered this year, Stephannie Vallee, Advertising and Design Senior has received a 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Honorable Mention for her digital art titled- Dark Angel of Nature. (pictured above)


This is Ken Lee Sterling written submission which also won an honorable mention from Scholastic Art and Writing.

Response to Between the World and Me


Quote from Between the World and Me

“Had I informed this woman that when she pushed my son, she was acting according to a tradition that held black bodies as lesser, her response would likely have been, ‘I am not a racist.’ Or maybe not. But my experience in this world has been that the people who believe themselves to be white are obsessed with the politics of personal exoneration”(97)



As a black individual, it appears that I face predicaments and circumstances that other individuals not of my race or ethnicity will ever encounter. For example,  it is absolutely absurd how my occupancy within a store conjures, what I find to be very inappropriate responses. When I am asked, “Do you need help?”, some portion of my being interprets this as “Are you going to steal anything?” “Would you like something less expensive”, is translated to “I know you blacks are poor… so would this be a better option.” It is almost uncomfortably obvious how some White-Americans make their skepticism. The concept of, “Is this one of the dangerous blacks?” is constantly inundating their cerebrum. I doubt a white individual ever feels pressured when wandering into a store. The gaze of punishment, judgment, and skepticism has never touched their skin. Making their blood boil. Their skin shatter. Their sophistication disappear. They do not have to despair regarding the staff calling the police at the blink of an eye.

Apparently, your skin a conglomerate of cells, tissues, and bacteria can deem your worth in the United States of America. Preposterous. I yet can not manage to wrap every ounce of cognitive ability my one hundred fifty pound body could possibly manage at the fact that the biological production of melanin in my skin somehow, someway makes me less valuable. It makes me less desirable. It makes me less important. It makes me black. It is an embarrassment to society how from birth I have labeled. Branded with the sole and consecutive thought, the consecutive idea I will eternally be less than someone who was born with less melanin in their skin. No matter how much I try, how hard I work, what I contributed to society. I will always be a “black.” Not an individual, an intellectual, a scholar, or an inventor. But an African-American, a Black intellectual, and a Black scholar. Handing us breadcrumbs, the scraps, the bone pickings of society and slapping the label of “ African-American” somehow justifies these actions. They take gang culture, our missed opportunities, sadness, resentment, frustration, envy, lust and again label it. They call that rap music, black culture. Yet again giving us, spoon feeding us, tokens of accomplishment because they are afraid to truly recognize our real accomplishments.  Black culture is not rap culture. Black culture is not, the gangsters, the strippers, or the rapists. But black culture is composed of the lawyers, the scholars, the astronauts, the artists, the doctors, the architects, the electricians, and the rappers. Physical slavery may have ended 153 years ago, but I assure you slavery still exists to this very day. We are very much bonded by the labels created by our white leaders.