By Shauna Somers Greene
Looking at 17-year-old Samantha Caballero's Looking Up and Arbitrarily Losing Touch, I can see her passion. Surprisingly, she told the Sterling Heights Sentry that she only recently started painting. Yet she won a National Scholastic Award for this piece!
Passions can be obvious and out-front, but they can also be hidden, buried deep, and shown to none. A hobby is often a passion. Something you do a lot may be a passion. Sometimes you might not recognize you even have a passion, because you compare your “thing” to someone else’s. Sometimes it might be something that comes so easily to you, that you doubt it even is a passion. Sometimes the barriers to a passion are insurmountable. Yet, that little voice won’t die down. Your art, writing, voice, building and tinkering, or your love for stereos seeps out when you are home alone, or bored, or sad. I know this. I started writing when I was little. My writing was encouraged by my father, but he didn’t know how to support my creativity. I had no idea that anyone could grow up and write. I wrote and wrote in high school. My journals and poetry helped me survive dark times. I even published when I was young. Writing was my outlet and my friend. Yet, I went to college and was a science major. Then, one day I had a lightbulb moment. I realized that my passion for writing was also a talent, and that I could combine those two into work.
In an article posted by National YoungArts, “Caballero, 17, said she has been drawing “forever,” and she frequently does digital illustrations. But then she added that her award-winning portrait is probably only her fourth or fifth painting ever.”
I don’t know who encouraged Caballero, but I suspect that someone did. There are organizations that not only encourage creativity and expression, but they also offer money and recognition to young people who have it. Scholastic and National YoungArts are well known, but there are countless others.
People around you can encourage and recognize your passion. This is what I do. This is what I am good at. And while I often neglect to support my own passions, I have this little magic that I can see someone else’s and bring it out. For this I am grateful.
For more information on Scholastic Awards, please visit artandwriting.org. For more about National YoungArts, please visit youngarts.org. To read more about Samantha Caballero, please see this article: Scholastic Gives Awards to Local Students.
Image: Looking Up and Arbitrarily Losing Touch, Painting, by Samantha Caballero, Grade 12, Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, Shelby Township, MI. American Visions Medal.
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Shauna Somers Greene is an academic strategist, college consultant, and college essay specialist, who is passionate about helping students achieve their academic goals. She helps students with time management and organizational skills, writing, and developing and managing their academic timeline, and helping them get into their first choice colleges by advising on how to build their college resumes.