Sophomore artist a finalist

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Sophomore Kyra Hu recently qualified as a finalist in the “Take This Phone and Glove It” competition hosted by Ripley’s Believe It Not! Times Square. This institution partnered with Glove It, an organization that promotes refraining from texting while driving, and announced a cartoon contest for the cause on September 18. The grand prize was $1,000 for a school or community project of their choice, as well as a one-year family pass to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square museum.

The contest required participants to create an illustration that depicted the perils of phone use while driving. Kyra’s entry for the competition featured an iPhone messaging session between a girl and “The Law,” which ultimately leads to her death. As a finalist, her work was displayed at Ripley’s. Kyra stated that she was very surprised when her mother told her that she was a finalist in the competition, as she “knew that [her] drawing was good, but [she was] aware that tons of students are excellent artists.”

Kyra stated that she was intrigued by the idea of a cartoon contest due to her interest in “drawing, especially casual drawings like cartoons.” When asked about her thought process for creating the cartoon, she said, “I thought that my cartoon should be interesting, colorful, and attention-getting all the same time. So, I had the subject of texting, something almost all teens do, with a giant warning at the bottom: She died that day.” She referred to her “own obsession with [her] iPhone” as the reason for this choice.

Aliza Sherman, Kyra’s AP World teacher, was the one who introduced her to this contest. Ms. Sherman requires her students to participate in one contest each semester, as part of her AP World History course requirement. “I find it is good because it yields results as students often win the contests they enter. It also allows them to prioritize since they have to meet the deadlines for the contests,” she stated.

Kyra was the first of her students to be announced as a finalist since most students do not enter contests so early in the year. “I am glad that Kyra got recognition for her work, [because] if you put in a lot of effort into an entry then a student can win,” she said.