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How do you get to Carnegie Hall? For this group of talented teens, the answer is “Write, create, paint.”

Golden Globe-nominated actor Ansel Elgort, authors R.L. Stine, Marc Brown, and the New York Life Foundation were on hand to congratulate winners of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest running and most prestigious program for recognizing creative teens. The awards took place at the esteemed concert hall this June, presented by the non-profit Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

New York Life Foundation celebrated the winners of the New York Life Award, which offers scholarships of $1,000 to bereaved teens who personally experienced the death of a loved one. The New York Life Foundation Award provides six scholarships of $1,000 each to students whose work exemplifies how art can act as a positive outlet to cope with grief and raise public awareness of the issue of youth bereavement. The 2018 New York Life Award Recipients were: Danelle Antelo, Miami, FL; Perry Chen, San Diego, CA; Meghan Hayfield, Saint James, NY; Emily Holtzman, Charlotte, NC; Clio Smith, Folsom, CA; and Kendall Vorhis, Goose Creek, SC.

"Our partnership with the Alliance provides an outlet for these young people to shine a light on an issue that remains in the shadows."

Maria Collins, Vice President of the New York Life Foundation.

Ansel Elgort offered encouragement. “Don’t allow other people to tell you how to see the world. As artists, we get to see the world through our own eyes, and then make art that has to do with that. That’s why, as an artist, you have the ability to become an original a new thinker.”

"Don’t allow other people to tell you how to see the world."

Ansel Elgort

A record-breaking 346,000 works of art and writing were submitted this year in 29 categories, including journalism, photography, video game design, poetry, and editorial cartoons. In total, the Alliance provides more than $300,000 to top award recipients and scholarship funds.

Check out the winners below:

Mixed Media

Drawing & Animation

Film & Animation


Meghan Hayfield, On Clay and Mrs. Conde, Personal Essay/Memoir.

Danelle Antelo, The Many Faces of Silence, Personal Essay/Memoir.

Kendall Vorhis, The Mourning Of, Poetry.

Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.

Media contact
Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937