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The 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Honored Six Students Through New York Life Foundation Grant

Teen Artists and Writers Recognized in Bereavement Category

NEW YORK, June 26, 2013—Six students received the New York Life Award at New York City’s Carnegie Hall during the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national celebration. This award was supported by a grant from the New York Life Foundation.

The six students were among more than 1,600 teenagers honored by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for their art and writing during the Awards’ 90th anniversary national celebration on Friday, May 31. To be considered for the New York Life Award, teens in grades 7 through 12 submitted more than 6,000 works dealing with bereavement or loss. Each of the New York Life Award winners received a $1,000 scholarship. The awardees and their work are:

  • Grace Collins, a twelfth grader at Charleston County School of the Arts and a resident of Charleston, SC, for her personal essay/memoir, To Elizabeth;
  • Brenna Gallagher, a tenth grader at Pittsburgh CAPA 6–12 Creative and Performing Arts Magnet and a resident of Pittsburgh, PA, for her short story, Steps;
  • Alana Keith, a twelfth grader at Eastern High School and a resident of Louisville, KY, for her photograph, Burned House;
  • Juliana Lillehei, an eleventh grader at Perpich Center for Arts Education and a resident of Howard Lake, MN, for her personal essay/memoir, The Hole in The Wall;
  • Jake Oleson, a twelfth grader at Millburn Senior High School and a resident of Short Hills, NJ, for his film, Jeff; and
  • Jullian Stodola, a tenth grader at Portage High School and a resident of Valparaiso, IN, for her photograph, Above The Water.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the longest running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers in the United States, and the awards are administered by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Actress and arts advocate Sarah Jessica Parker, fashion designer Zac Posen, and entertainer Usher spoke at the national ceremony, encouraging young people—and the winners—to keep following their creative dreams. First Lady Michelle Obama also delivered a recorded video address. The webcast of the ceremony can be viewed here.

Distinguished alumni of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards include Andy Warhol, Ken Burns, Robert Redford, Richard Avedon, Zac Posen, Joyce Carol Oates, Lena Dunham, Cy Twombly, John Baldessari, John Updike, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Stephen King, Red Grooms and many others, all of whom won their Awards as teenagers.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is generously supported by Scholastic Inc., the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, The New York Times, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Command Web Offset Co., the AMD Foundation, Blick Art Materials, the National Endowment for the Arts, 3D Systems, New York Life, Bloomberg L.P., Ovation,, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the Bernstein Family Foundation, Duck Tape®, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and contributions from numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders.

About The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, identifies teenagers with exceptional artistic and literary talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards program is the longest-running, most prestigious program of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions and publications. Over the past five years, students have submitted 920,000 works of art and writing and over $40 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants. The Alliance partners with 116 regional affiliates across the country to bring the program to local communities, and works with a network of more than 60 colleges and universities to increase scholarship and award opportunities. With the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alliance is a founding partner of the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets, which selects five students exclusively from current Scholastic Art & Writing Award national poetry winners. More information about the Alliance and its programs can be found at

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $168 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program. To learn more, please visit