Past Winners

2021 Winners

1st Place

Avery Wayne, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Austin, Texas

Avery Wayne is a junior at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, whose passions include art, economics, and East Asian studies. She is the president of the Food Sustainability Club, and tutors at the Writing Center. Outside of school, she volunteers at the Blanton Museum at UT, and is currently interning at art business start-up Alpha’a. Avery also served as a Youth Jury member at this year’s Aspen Shortsfest, and hosted a ConnectHer film screening on environmental feminism. In her free time, she writes on her blog Opinion Redacted and makes art: films, photography, collage work, and digital art.  In the future, Avery hopes to develop her passions while remaining intellectually curious and making a community and global impact.

2nd Place

Emilie Grace Baillo, Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School, Austin, Texas

Emilie Grace Baillo is a junior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin, Texas. As one of the leaders of her school’s Minorities in Math club, Emilie’s passionate about making STEM more accessible to low-income and underrepresented communities. Her club’s Math Circle, which hosts math presentations and activities for middle schools in their area, hopes to demonstrate that math is something that adds beauty to the world and everyone can enjoy. Emilie is also a high school mentor for Verizon Innovative Learning, where she encourages middle school girl mentees to set and pursue goals for themselves related to career, academic, personal, and cultural development. In college, Emilie plans to go into engineering to develop technology that mobilizes communities of color with information about their health. In her personal life, Emilie loves cooking, reading, writing, and spending time with her family dog Datu (meaning chieftain).

3rd Place

Marcus Aguilar

Honorable Mention

Kawsar Yasin, Tyler Legacy High School, Tyler, TX

Kawsar Yasin is a junior at Tyler Legacy High School in Tyler, TX. Being heavily involved in her school’s debate team and visual arts program, she’s come to realize the power of expression, whether that be through words or through her art. For example, this past year, she created her art portfolio in her AP studio art class to reflect and portray the daily struggles and triumphs of immigrants in the United States. Outside of debate and art, she can often be found trying out different boba flavors, making a mess in the kitchen by baking (or at least trying to), and reading books on United States foreign policy. After high school, she hopes to study in a field similar to global health, foreign relations, or biochemistry with plans on attending medical school.

Honorable Mention

Luisa Mao, Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School, Austin, Texas

Luisa Mao is a junior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin, Texas. She loves anything math or science and enjoys working with other students who are excited about STEM at her school’s math and computer science clubs. She believes in the power of STEM and its spirit of collaborative innovation to help current social and environmental issues to better the world in the future. She currently serves as a U.S. ambassador for the Youth Leadership Program to Fiji, Tonga, and Tuvalu in a STEM-oriented project to pursue climate resiliency. In her freetime, she enjoys reading, writing, swimming, music, coding cool projects, and spending time with her friends and family. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in computer science. She isn’t entirely sure what she wants to do, but knows she wants to make a positive impact on the world.

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