Sophomore wins National Silver Key Award

Monica Clark/Staff Writer
Winner of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, sophomore Melina Gotera is absolutely thrilled at the honor of being chosen.

This was the first year she had entered, and all of her work paid off. Gotera entered three poems and a short story to the contest, and a few months later her Language Arts Enrichment teacher, Judy Timmins, received a letter saying that three of her poems won Reginal Gold Key Awards. Afterwards, her poems were sent to the national judging contest. Months later, she received another letter saying two of her three poems won National Silver Key Awards.

Every year, professionals in the visual and literary arts review works of teens 7-12 all across the nation looking for the most talented teens. More than 140,000 works of art and writing were submitted to regional programs of The Scholastic Awards. Gotera is one out of 1,000 students to receive a national honor.

“That (means) that I (am) invited to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City this coming June. It also means that my writing might be published in ‘The Best Teen Writing of 2009,’” Gotera said.

Her older siblings started the legacy by winning the award four years ago.

“My older sister Amanda won a National Gold Key Award and a $10,000 scholarship in the Scholastic Awards for her writing portfolio, which included short stories, essays and poetry. Her writing was then included in ‘The Best Teen Writing of 2005,’ which is basically an anthology of winning writing that is put out by Scholastic,” Gotera said. “The following year, Amanda was asked to be the editor of that years’s ‘Best Teen Writing.’”

Not only has her older sister had an effect on her, but her family has been role models and supporters.

“Along with my dad being a writer and my mother an artist, (it) really pushed me along and gave me an interest in the awards,” Gotera said.

Along with Amanda being published, she was interviewed on NPR. For Gotera, she feels this would be the best thing in the world if she got the opportunity.

“She read some of her poetry and even made her interviewer cry. For me, that’s what it’s all about. I want to give a voice to people, who don’t know how or which words to use. Everybody feels pain. Everybody feels love, but not everyone knows how to say it. I try to reach people because I want to be reached. I want to be met in the middle. When you can make someone cry, or laugh, or even perk up their ears with your words, then that’s the best it can get. When you can move someone, or help them say what they need to, simply with a bunch of circles and lines on paper, then that makes both of you not so alone,” Gotera said. “If I could read my poetry on NPR, well, that would be incredible. I guess you could say it’s a life in goal. In the long run, I just want to make a difference in my life, and hopefully I’m on they way now.”


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