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Travel Scholarship Winners – 2017

February 27, 2017 Marc Amigone 1 Comment
Category ACIS Community

Every year at ACIS, we give away scholarships to high school and middle school students to help with the financial cost of going abroad with ACIS. Students submit entries of writing, photography, and artwork based on a theme. This year’s theme was “The World in Your World” asking students to tell us how different cultures, communities, and places from around the world impact their daily life. Do they see the influence of other cultures at school? How about at home? Or in their community? These may be traditions, customs, people, or even products that originate from outside of the United States but shape their lives today. We asked that students take this opportunity to think critically about how the world personally influences them as students and global citizens and then show that influence creatively through their submissions.

Entries for artwork, photography and writing categories were judged on creativity, inventiveness, and how the expression of the idea relates to the theme. After reviewing hundreds of submissions, we’re thrilled to announce the winners of our 2017 Travel Scholarship Contest:


Grand Prize, High School – $1,000 Scholarship
The Whole World in One Community by Sarah Harmata, CA

Runner-Up, High School – $500 Scholarship
Expanding My World Without Leaving My Community, by Abigail Falcone, OH

Grand Prize, Middle School – $1,000 Scholarship
My World of Harmony by Christina Rivera, MD

Runner-Up, Middle School – $500 Scholarship
The Eagle’s Perspective, by Praneeth Abburi, MA


Grand Prize, High School – $1,000 Scholarship

Our World Entwined, by Lauren Dixion, WI”In my piece there are many categories surrounding “our world”. These categories show how the different exports and cultures from around the world influence my life in a small town in Wisconsin.” – Lauren

Runner-Up, High School – $500 Scholarship
That Moment When…, by Norah Wilson, OH

“Going to France changed my life forever. I want to be a global citizen and perhaps even live in France. This photo of mine that I recreated represents my passion about international travel and different cultures.” – Norah


Grand Prize, High School – $1,000 Scholarship
Tamaliza de los Ronderos, by Brianna Rondero, TX

“Every year, my family and friends come together to make tamales. It has always been one of my favorite traditions because it gives me a chance to share and show parts of my culture that others might not often see. Every year, people of all descendance (this year British, Irish, Scottish, Puerto Rican, Mexican) come together to see and experience a part of my own world.” – Brianna

Runner-Up, High School – $500 Scholarship
The World in Me, by Hristina Rivera, IL

“This photo represents all the places in the world that have shaped me as a person. It includes all the memories that I have made while traveling that have changed my life. I am the sum of all the little photos in the big picture. I am the sum of all my pieces. I am the homemade Colombian food my father makes for dinner every Sunday night. I am the Serbian folklore dancing that I do every Friday. I am one of the only trilingual students at my school. I am all the places in the world that I have visited that have impacted me.” – Hristina

Art/Photography (Middle School Only)

Grand Prize, Middle School – $1,000 Scholarship
The World in Me, Jessica Bejar-Garcia, MA

Through reading and friends, I have discovered many parts of the world and their cultures. As a result, each country has become part of me, of who I am as a person. Several white/pink patches remain though, because I am still young and have not explored or discovered all of the world quite yet.” – Jessica

Runner-Up, Middle School – $500 Scholarship
Layers, Andria Shafer, NC

“My piece shows layers of culture that build my face. I used layers to demonstrate how simple a person can look, but how underneath, the person can be so incredibly complex. When you look at a person, you see simply a face with no connections. Then, the person may tell you stories about himself or herself and then you see much more – deeper cultures. Once you fully get to know the person, you see the face as more than just curved lines and shadows. That is what I was trying to portray with the different artistic styles used for each layer. My world is wide. Between my mother’s side and my father’s side, I have relatives ranging from South America to Europe to Asia. On my maternal side, my ancestry is Peruvian, Chinese, Spanish and Catholic. On my paternal side my ancestry is Russian and Jewish. My piece relates to the theme because I drew the places and cultures that created me.” – Andria

Interested in learning more about ACIS travel scholarships? Check out our scholarship information page here!


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Marc Amigone

One thought on “Travel Scholarship Winners – 2017

  1. I am so excited for Andria! She is such a talented young woman. We leave for France in 7 days and we are so excited about our trip!

    Thank you, ACIS!

    Mme E

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