Mark Yoshizumi. Grade 12, Age 17. Art Portfolio Silver Medal.
“Tying the Past to the Future: the Turban” comes from ninth grader and Gold Medalist Sahej Suri, of the Bronx, NY.
I have always been proud to be a Sikh, though when I was very young, I did not exactly understand its implications; I only knew that being a Sikh was a good thing. In the innocence of youth, I had little conception of how the manifestations of my religion would set me apart from my peers. As a small boy, I began to realize I was different through a very apparent outward sign of Sikhism: my hair.
"10,000,000," Daniel Tommasino. Grade 11, Age 17. Silver Medal, Photography.
“The Other Side” comes from Gold Medalist Alexandra Sukin, ninth grader from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Car horns blaring with drivers ensnared in the morning rush
Packed elevators brimming with hope and nerves
We used to live four blocks away.
We could see it from our picture window.
See the cement grave he so rightly
We moved a month after the funeral
And have spent our days together
Trying to forget
What should not be forgotten.
"Utopia," Matt Holmes. Grade 12, Age 19. Gold Medal, Photography.
U.S.-Man and the Gulab Jamin Machine comes from Portfolio Gold Medalist Haris Durrani.
“I think people really need to think what it’s like to have all of society arrayed against you.” — Octavia Butler
It took a while to understand that there were subtleties everywhere after 9/11, challenging who I am. It was a scary thing when I realized how true it was, what Mom told me all the time about anti-Muslim sentiment—that it’s all around us. I always thought she was paranoid. I knew there were people who hated Muslims, but they never really affected me—until they took Baba.
"Onlook," Philomena Polizzi. Grade 12, Age 18. Gold Medal, Photography.
“Metro Card” is a 2011 American Voices winner, by senior Robert Mathai from Cambridge, MA.
Slowly, steadily, surely the ink fades. The Metro Card is rectangular, about 1.5 X 3 inches. The front of it is split vertically into an orange side on the left with a picture of buses, and a big “C” on the right to indicate that it is a “Combo Pass”. The back is filled with disclaimers and legal descriptions of the purpose of the card. The back also has advertisements for Breast Cancer awareness. The cost of the card is written in the top left corner.
The corners are fraying. With time the ink has been bruised and blurred so that it is almost impossible to read the fine print. But the card is still firm. It is not plastic, but a mix between paper and some kind of cardboard. It was bought nine years ago, and it should have disintegrated by now.