MARKEL RANDLE,  Everyone Needs Something Sweet, Photography. Grade 12,  Wichita Southeast High School, Wichita, KS

MARKEL RANDLE, Everyone Needs Something Sweet, Photography. Grade 12, Wichita Southeast High School, Wichita, KS

This week’s 2019 Gold Portfolio highlight features two creative teens who received $10,000 scholarships for their amazing portfolios. Markel Randle’s photographs are inspired by films from the late 20th century, while Raven Little writes about personal matters that are relatable to many teens.

Markel Randle

“The main inspiration for my work is from movies made in the mid-to-late 1900s. If I see a visually appealing scene in a movie I will often watch the specific scene multiple times to determine exactly what about the scene is appealing. It typically will differentiate between the visual effect and the word choice that draws my attention. This inspired me to strengthen my writing abilities, so I began taking AP English classes, taking other art classes like drawing so I could learn about shadows, and I also took a video/audio class to learn about camera angles and such. All of these minor things I did to improve my images eventually led to me incorporating subtitles into my creative process. Subtitles sometimes strengthen a scene tremendously and I wanted to bring that same impact to my photographs. The word choice can also present the photo exactly how I want it to be interpreted which allows the viewer to be a part of the environment instead of just viewing the image. My main focus is to allow someone to see an image and relate that experience to something in their life.”

MARKEL RANDLE,  Coin-Operated Amusement, Photography. Grade 12, Wichita Southeast High School, Wichita, KS

MARKEL RANDLE, Coin-Operated Amusement, Photography. Grade 12, Wichita Southeast High School, Wichita, KS

Raven Little

“My short stories have been inspired by events that are familiar to me and many other teenage girls. The woes of growing up, being abused, misunderstood, and heartbroken are commonplaces for many people my age. Although difficult to discuss sometimes, the subject matter is very important, and writing allows me the opportunity to address these themes in a fictional world.”

Eleventh Grade English
RAVEN LITTLE, Poetry. Grade 12, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, LA

This is American Literature
so we write about the ‘negroes’ a lot.
Because it is considered domestic policy,
the country sympathizes with supposedly existing issues.

So, we write about the ‘negroes’ a lot
because we’re sorry?
The country sympathizes with supposedly existing issues
because slavery is over and someone has to apologize.

Because we’re sorry,
we try to teach white kids not to say negro.
Because slavery is over and someone has to apologize,
there is a newfound importance in being politically correct.

We try to teach white kids not to say negro —
replace it with American, black, friend.
This newfound importance in being politically correct
proves to be a forced culture.

Replace it with American, black, friend —
it’ll feel like a warm hug to their identity.
Proven to be a forced culture,
America has failed at teaching me the value of correctness.

It’ll feel like a warm hug to their identity
because it is considered domestic policy.
America has failed at teaching me the value of correctness.
This is American Literature.

To see more Gold Medal Portfolio recipients, past and present, visit our Eyes on the Prize series.

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