LIVINGSTON, NJ — The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers announced the national award recipients of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation's longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades seven to 12. Among the recipients was Livingston High School (LHS) senior Kushal Dhungana, who is one of 16 high school seniors nationally and the only student in New Jersey to receive the program's highest honor, the Gold Medal Portfolio, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

Earning silver medals were LHS sophomore Victoria Choe, and freshman Joyce He. Choe won a silver medal in poetry for her pieces, Queen Bee, Eclipse and Presents From Dad. He was awarded a silver medal in Personal Essay/Memoir for her piece, Yulia.

"For 95 years, the awards have identified the creative promise of visionaries like Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Kay WalkingStick, and Zac Posen,” said Virginia McEnerney, executive director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “The students being recognized today join a legacy of teens facilitating important dialogue through their art and writing. We celebrate these innovative teens as members of the next generation of great American artists and writers."

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Within the awards' 29 categories, which include poetry, photography, sculpture, humor, editorial cartoons, and video game design, a record-breaking 346,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level this year.

Dhungana is the only student from New Jersey to receive one of this year’s Gold Medal Portfolio awards. He was recognized for his writing portfolio, "The Application Experience," which uses poetry, flash fiction and scripts to explore the ins and outs of the college application process.

This honor opens doors for students by providing access to future scholarship programs and workshops, the ability to have work publically displayed in the Art.Write.Now.2018 National Exhibition, and the opportunity to attend the week-long national celebration in New York City, which includes a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on June 7.

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