Alixandra Wilens, the Class of 2017 valedictorian at Kennedy High School, was one of eight students nationwide to be awarded the coveted Scholastic Gold Medal Award for her writing portfolio.
Wilens was also awarded three silver keys at the regional level for her six submission pieces – which included a compilation of newspaper articles, collection of poetry, short stories and essays.
“I wanted to shared with readers how choices in a story can drive the plot forward,” explained Wilens. “Details that can seem so small at first can become more impactful throughout the story.”
Her English teacher, Vivian DiGennaro said she mentored Wilens on only “editing her pieces from the creative aspect,” but not many changes were needed because of her talent.
Wilens serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Cougar Crier, and is a member of several national honor societies, Mu Alpha Theta. She was also named a National Merit Commended Student.
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation's longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. Within the Awards' 29 categories, a record-breaking 330,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level this year.
Wilens will receive a $10,000 collegiate scholarship and will attend a ceremony on June 8 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.