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My name is Gigi Larios - Mendez, I am 19 years old and a freshman at SUNY College at Old Westbury as an English Major. Though I am technically a freshman I am categorized as a sophomore due to being part of an early college program at my previous high school. In my spare time I enjoy reading, writing and drawing. My dream is to become a well-known author in the teen fiction genre, and I know I can get there but before I do, I plan on finding a job in publishing or becoming an editor."

The title of my art work is Too Blind To See and I created it by using permanent black and gray scale markers. The art work is of a girl looking at herself in a mirror. Her faceless reflection shows the negative and hurtful words she's been subjected to; although, the girl herself is covered in positive words that truly define who she is. The message I was hoping to convey was that one's true identity is not defined by how you may think others see you, but how one's true beauty and confidence should be influenced by none other than yourself. This message is for anyone who may believe that anyone else's interpretation of themselves is more important than their own.

Gigi Larios-Mendez
                Roosevelt Senior High School                   
$1, 000 College Scholarship Winner