Seniors Brooke Drost and Elizabeth Snider won Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards regional competition. Their articles titled “For Junior Maria Reyes, blindness is a detour not a dead end” and “CTEE: Changing lives” earned the top award and will now be considered for a national award. West Ottawa is one of only three schools in the region to earn two Gold Keys.
Drost’s article presents the struggles and successes of West Ottawa student Maria Reyes, who is blind. The article also highlights people and programs at West Ottawa that have been essential to her success. Readers learn that Reyes approaches life with an unwavering optimism and determination, allowing her to look for alternative solutions to problems that other students do not commonly face.
Snider’s article focuses on the origins of the Cultural Technological and Environmental Exchange (CTEE), a student-driven club at the high school. For over 15 years, this club has sent thousands of computers to schools in Cameroon, Africa. In the article, Cameroonian teacher Lydia Wonget describes the impact these computers have had for adults and children. This story shows how a bold idea transformed into an impressive international relationship between West Ottawa and Cameroon.
Drost also earned a Silver Key in the humor category for her satire titled “The best way to stop a bad student with a phone is a good student with a phone.”
These articles and more can be accessed through West Ottawa’s online student newspaper: thewestottawan.com.