Congratulations to senior Zoe Jackson for being awarded the National Medal Award and the American Voices Medal from The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the nonprofit organization that presents Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. 230,000 works of art and writing were submitted to the 2020 Scholastic Awards and Zoe's piece was selected as one of only 2,000 works to receive a National Medal, placing her within the top 1% of all submissions.
Zoe's work will be featured in the Scholastic Online Gallery and her name will be listed in the Yearbook 2021, a companion publication to The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing anthologies which feature a selection of work by national medalists.
Here is an excerpt from Zoe's award winning personal essay and memoir piece, My Story.
"I can't tell you how much of my story shows strength and the overcoming of obstacles because I don't know. I honestly think it depends on how you define the thing. Is it overcoming an obstacle if you make it through to the other side in one piece, or can you have a few pieces missing? Can one lose their soul along the way and still be considered the same person? These are some of the questions I've asked through the years, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that I don't know much. In the words of Zora Neale Hurston, "There are years that ask questions and years that answer." So, I've begun to believe that these two years have asked many, many questions of me that I'm not ready to answer because there are many that I never, ever wanted to answer. But the process, as heart-breaking as it can be, is okay. I pray that there will be some years ahead that answer. Until then, I've called over my soul to wait and see."