Self expression for a deeper purpose
– Hayley WIlson, Senior” read_more_link=”false” read_more_txt=”Read More” read_more_target=”_parent” front_icon_replace=”true” front_image=”270548″ front_image_full=”true” front_icon_size=”70″ flip_border_thick=”1″ front_icon_frame_thick=”1″ front_padding=”false” front_icon_padding=”0″ front_icon_color=”#cccccc” front_icon_frame_color=”#000000″ front_color=”#000000″ front_color_title=”#000000″ front_background=”#ffffff” flip_border_color_front=”#dddddd” back_color=”#000000″ back_color_title=”#000000″ back_background=”#ffffff” flip_border_color_back=”#dddddd” read_more_color=”#000000″ read_more_background=”#dddddd” animations=”false” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″]
As the winter chill crept in with second semester, the PTSA congratulated seven students who will represent RBHS in the Missouri State PTA Reflections Program. Entries answering the prompt “The world would be a better place if…” from seniors Hayley Wilson and Margie Crosby, juniors Maranatha Prenger, Kelley Tackett, Alice Yu and freshmen Kristine Cho and Sonya Hu will be judged in the State Reflections Program.
For Tackett, the topic of her entry this year had been in the back of her mind for a while and in her poem she described how she has changed since she moved to Columbia when she was 11 years old.
“I finally saw the prompt to the reflections contest and decided ‘You know what, this is the right time to express that feeling,’ like make that comparison, look at how far I’ve come,” Tackett said. “I was really excited because this poem is one of the more personal entries that I’ve put in throughout the years and it meant a lot that something that meant that much to me could mean something to someone else.”
While Tackett created her literary entry after learning the prompt for Reflections this year, Crosby and Wilson said they chose from pieces they had already created for their AP Art portfolios. Wilson chose to enter a watercolor of Llangollen, Wales, which she painted after she visited the town and was inspired by how the town was woven into the natural world.
“Where we went was just a very natural, very beautiful town,” Wilson said. “The way the architecture and the way town’s structures was very woven into the natural scene, which was just a really beautiful thing to see for me, that’s kind of where I found inspiration. … In different parts of the world we do things like that differently was something I really appreciated there.”
Wilson said the application process was very simple and was not stressful, and she was excited when she received a letter announcing she had been selected for the state level. Each year the state level receives hundreds of entries, Missouri PTA Vice President, Director of Programs and State Reflections Chair Susan Rupert said, and this year 850 entries submitted.
“The first place winner in each division of each art category is advanced to the national round,” Rupert said. “There are five divisions (primary, intermediate, middle school, high school and special artist) and six art categories (photography, music composition, film production, literature, dance choreography and visual arts). For example, Missouri can advance up to five entries in photography.”
Winning entries will be finalized by the end of February and announced in March, Rupert said, and then those entries will be online to the national level of competition. Rupert said the first five places and five honorable mentions will be recognized at the annual Reflections Student Showcase on Saturday, April 18th at the Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Independence.
For Cho, who has entered the program since elementary school, the program offers an outlet for students to express deeper thinking and consider how the prompts relate to society as a whole.
“My sister did every single year since … kindergarten so I entered it as well,” Cho said. “There’s a little bit of pressure from the family but also Reflections itself I think is a great concept of having kids really think and reflect on large concepts of the world, how experiences are good for them and actually sit down and ponder about what … what would make the world a better place.”
By Emily Franke