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SCVNews.com | Sister Cities: Young SCV Artists, Authors Advance to Nationals | 04-29-2013
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Santa Clarita will be well represented at the Sister Cities International art and essay competition in Washington, D.C., thanks to some talented youngsters from local schools.

Leaders of the Santa Clarita Valley International Program announced the winners Monday of the annual Young Artists and Young Authors Showcase  at City Hall. Students aged 13 to 18 were tasked with creating an original work of art, essay or poem to capture the theme, “The Power of Exchange.”

A $100 cash prize and advancement to the national competition went to Cassidy Oliver of Cornerstone Christian School in Canyon Country for her art piece, “Colors,” showing five linked hands of different ethnicities.

The same went to the winners of the essay and poetry contests: Michael Salerno of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Newhall for his poem, “Exchanging Ideas”; and Ashley Choi of Valencia High School for her essay, “The Powerful Exchange of Love,” which explores her experience of helping to build a home in Mexico for a poor family.

Other entrants from Valencia High School included Jinny Lee , Eunenia Lee and Monica Payne. SCVi Charter school entrants included Sydney Hild, Clarissa Martin, Samantha Raskin, Tyler Jacob Goeckeritz, Jillian Brimigion, Crystal Rodriguez, Paige Guarino, Jennie Hernandez and William Diament. Matthew Salerno also entered for OLPH; Golden Valley High School sent Brendan Tinoco and Maria Huanosta, while Kyle Boyd represented Hart High and Keira Boyd represented Placerita Junior High.

On display were a work of art and an essay from contest winners in the Philippine city of Sariaya, one of Santa Clarita’s two sister cities. The other is Tena, Ecuador.

The SCV International Program is the local nonprofit organization that develops and promotes Santa Clarita’s sister city relationships, with the goal of strengthening cultural understanding. Projects include medical missions, youth ambassadorships, sister schools, education, arts and culture, and international travel.

Cassidy Oliver's mom (center) accepts the award for her artwork, titled "Colors," from Arts Commissioner John Dow and fellow contest judge Zony Gordon.

Cassidy Oliver’s mom (center) accepts the award for her daughter’s artwork, titled “Colors,” from Arts Commissioner John Dow and fellow contest judge Zony Gordon.

Michael Salerno's brothers accept the prize for the OLPH student's winning poem, from contest judge Kim Goldman of SCV Youth Project and Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

Michael Salerno’s brothers accept the prize for the OLPH student’s winning poem, from contest judge Kim Goldman of the SCV Youth Project and Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

William Diament of SCV Charter, with Arts Commissioner John Dow and contest judge Zony Gordon

William Diament of SCV Charter School (center) with Arts Commissioner John Dow and contest judge Zony Gordon

Tyler Jacob Goeckeritz of SCVi Charter School

Tyler Jacob Goeckeritz of SCVi Charter School

Samantha Raskin, SCVi Charter School

Samantha Raskin, SCVi Charter School, with Arts Commissioner John Dow

Kyle Boyd of Hart High, flanked by Arts Commissioners John Dow and Susan Shapiro.

Kyle Boyd of Hart High, flanked by Arts Commissioners John Dow and Susan Shapiro.

Keira Boyd of Placerita Junior High, with Arts Commissioner John Dow (left) and Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

Keira Boyd of Placerita Junior High, with Arts Commissioner John Dow (left) and Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

Jillian Brimigion of SCVi Charter School with Arts Commissioner John Dow.

Jillian Brimigion of SCVi Charter School with Arts Commissioner John Dow.

Jennie Hernandez of SCVi Charter School with Arts Commissioner John Dow.

Jennie Hernandez of SCVi Charter School with Arts Commissioner John Dow.

Claudio Acosta-Junqueira, president of the SCV International Program, greets the crowd at Monday's awards ceremony.

Claudio Acosta-Junqueira, president of the SCV International Program, greets the crowd at Monday’s awards ceremony.

Winning artwork from a student in Santa Clarita's sister city of Sariaya in The Philippines is on display.

Winning artwork from a student in Santa Clarita’s sister city of Sariaya in The Philippines is on display.

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