Bedford Students Win Awards in Scholastic Art and Writing Competition 

March 29, 2023
“A Breath of Fresh Air” by Kaylyn Sethakosee received an Honorable Mention in the 2022-2023 Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Courtesy Image

Congratulations to all the participants and winners from the 2022-23 Massachusetts Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Participants from all over Massachusetts applied online to enter the contest; 7,363 submissions in the art category and 3,170 entries for writing were received.

In Art, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers awarded 508 Gold Keys (highest accolade), 733 Silver Keys, and 1,119 Honorable Mentions. In Writing, they presented 189 Gold Keys, 319 Silver Keys, and 435 Honorable Mentions. These recipients included seven winners receiving 13 awards from Bedford. 

Bedford High School Students Art Awards Recipients included:

  • Ada Cooprider – Silver Key, Honorable Mention (Mixed Media)
  • Paul Jeon – Gold Key (Drawing & Illustration)
  • Kaylyn Sethakosee – Three Honorable Mentions (Photography)
  • Raaga Vakamalla – Silver Key, Honorable Mention (Jewelry)
  • Kate Woo – Gold Key, Silver Key (Painting)
  • Jocelyn Young – Silver Key (Mixed Media)

John Glenn Middle School Student Writing Awards Recipient included:

  • Maggie Zhoa – Two Honorable Mentions (Dramatic Script + Science Fiction & Fantasy)

Paul Jeon received a Gold Key Award for “Incessant Obsession” depicted in his illustrious work in the Drawing and Illustration category. 

Kate Woo received two awards for her distinguished paintings: the Gold Key for “Apt. #302” and the Silver Key for “Alone Again – Naturally”.

In the Mixed Media Category, Ada Cooprider received the Silver Key for her work “Suspension of Disbelief” and Honorable Mention for “Dragon Headdress,” while Jocelyn Young accepted the Silver Key Award for “Under the Surface.”

(L-R) “Wave necklace” and “Peacock inspired necklace” (and closeup) by Raaga Vakamalla. Courtesy Image

Raaga Vakamalla was awarded a Silver Key for her “Waves Necklace” and Honorable Mention for her “Peacock Inspired Necklace.” She was drawn to this specific competition because of the myriad of art and writing categories, more than just drawing and painting. Raaga was able to explore her creativity and submit elegant and intricate handmade jewelry crafted with wire and beads. 

What Raaga likes most about art is the “problem solving aspect” and how when anyone completes a project they feel really “proud of their outcome.” Raaga is considering vying in this competition again next year.

Kaylyn Sethakosee received three Honorable Mentions for a collection of digital photos: “Girl with a Camera;” “A Breath of Fresh Air;” and “Rainbow.” She took these photos from a different perspective and unique angles with the goal of making people think about the art of photography in a different way.

Kaylyn said, “It was surprising, but great to get recognized” and this experience has taught her it is “okay to pursue passions and genuine interests outside of school and that art through any media can serve as an outlet to express oneself.”

Praise goes to Maggie Zhoa, a student at John Glenn Middle School, as the sole Bedford recipient in the Writing Category. She received two Honorable Mentions for her Dramatic Script work – “Three Friends and Second Chances” and for Science Fiction & Fantasy – “ OUTRO: Cross the Line.”

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is “the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The Awards give students opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships. In 2022, students across the United States and Canada entered more than 260,000 original works in 28 different categories of art and writing.” To learn more, visit

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Bridget Sheahan is a Bedford High School, Class of 2024 student.

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