The 2016 Signal Grace $1,000 Scholarship Contest produced a diverse mix of entries from many talented students. Applicants embraced the new “Creative Expression” option this year and took it to the max in different directions. The broad array of submissions included essays, poems, digital paintings, a musical composition, journal entries, letters, sculptures, and other unique entries. The goal of the contest is to encourage creativity; this year, the vibrant and enthusiastic response surpassed expectations.
An unexpected upside to offering a scholarship contest to American students is that one is privy to a more intimate, unusual view of the intelligence and talent in our country. Every year, students astonish me with their insightfulness and creativity. They share stories of love, loss, family, forgiveness and personal struggle, as well as faith and determination. They take a unique approach to a problem, or cast a situation in a new light, and it absolutely takes my breath away. This scholarship contest has provided me with a beautiful window into the hearts and efforts of people in the United States.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to see so many talented American students and to help some of them. Offering this scholarship has been one of the most interesting and fun things I’ve done related to publishing Signal Grace. Moreover, I’m excited to announce that – thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor this year – the Contest is able to recognize several other outstanding applications beyond the Grand Prize winner with monetary awards. So, with that being said, I warmly welcome this opportunity to announce the Grand Prize winner, the Honorable Mention entries, and the Author’s Choice finalists for the 2016 Signal Grace $1,000 Scholarship Contest.
GRAND PRIZE ($1,000):
Isabelle Walton – Poem Series
HONORABLE MENTION ($100):
Andrew Koonce – Violin Composition
Arnold Kracht – Collage Series
Kayla Moore – Digital Painting
Kendra Jimerson – Digital Painting
M’Kenna Breckenridge – Video Book Report
Among the many excellent submissions this year, apart from the $1,000 Grand Prize winner and the five “Honorable Mention” entries, there are several submissions that I want to publicly recognize for outstanding creativity. The submissions from the following students were insightful and, in several cases, compellingly courageous. Each is thus selected as an “Author’s Choice” entry –
Christian Scott Kuecker