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2024 ACIS Scholarship Winners

February 26, 2024 Sarah Bichsel No Comments

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2024 ACIS Travel is Education Scholarship!

This year’s theme was “Traveling with Purpose” and we asked students to express what that phrase meant to them through any kind of medium, from watercolor paintings to original songs. Winners were selected based on a combination of artistic expression, creativity and connection to the theme.

Here are the 2024 scholarship winners. And if you’re interested in submitting to the 2025 Scholarship, discover more at the link.

Grand Prize Winner: “Eternal” – Essay, Recipient of a $2,500 ACIS Travel Voucher

By Olivia N., Illinois

Artist Statement: My essay, “Eternal,” gives light to my firsthand account of how I found purpose during travel. Amid the bustling city of Rome, in the heat of summer, I saw something that changed my life. It wasn’t a monument, or ancient relic, or piece of art made centuries in the past. It was simple graffiti, a message that has stuck with me since the day I saw it. It caused me to rethink my definition of ‘purpose,’ and to seek opportunities for connection. I believe that these attempts to find connections are what can be defined as “traveling with purpose.”

Runners Up – Five students each receive a $1,000 ACIS Travel Voucher

“The Missing Piece” – Essay

By Ife A., Virginia

Artist Statement: My piece describes how you can find yourself, your purpose in connecting with other cultures. When you travel not just for fun but for growth and learning, you can fill a hole in your heart you didn’t know was there.

“Through the Mist” – Watercolor Painting

By Griffin B., South Carolina

Artist Statement: Through this piece, I wanted to depict traveling’s unique ability to push through the misty veil of modern-day life and see what once was. You can read about history in a text book but by traveling with purpose, you can truly feel history. Through traveling, crumbling ruins and empty streets come live again like when they were new.

“Living” – Poem

By Isabella B., North Carolina

Artist Statement: Traveling for me and my family, has always consisted of the sense of community rather than where we are. My poem represents how experiences with yourself and your loved ones are the best reasons to travel. If you just travel for a sense of temporary relief from the world, then you aren’t truly seeing what it means to travel with purpose. The meaning and significance of existing while you travel, is the sole reason that I choose to do so. I can’t even tell the difference between being in Europe versus going to the park on the weekend, as long as I have my people with me. Living shows us that to find purpose in your travels, you must simply exist alongside your journey.

“Fly Away” – Original Song

By Grace D., Illinois

Artist Statement: My original song “Fly Away” is about the changes a person goes through when deliberately traveling to understand other people. It shares the desire to get out of the mundane cycle I’ve fallen into and begin to learn about different cultures and lifestyles. The lyrics reflect the similarities and differences between people and the decision to accept the many ways of life.

“Travel With Purpose” – Animation

By Clea T., Michigan

Artist Statement: Everywhere I go, I bring my sketchbook, which is more accurate of a diary than I could ever arrange in purely written word– this animation is a pretty truthful depiction of my wide-eyed traveling self.

Sarah Bichsel

Sarah Bichsel

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