Sanskriti Bimal, a junior at Mineola High School, recently won two prestigious awards from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers for her journalistic essay submissions.
In her first piece, Bimal chronicles her experience with a non-governmental organization in India. In the second, she explores the meaning of Thanksgiving in Mineola.
“They are slum children and street children,” she wrote of her time volunteering in a school in Mumbai. “Their homes lack sanitation and basic services – many of them dilapidated, cramped, poorly ventilated, and detrimental to health and made of tin or plastic sheets.”
An assistant editor of the Mineola High School newspaper and a regular contributor to the Mineola American, Bimal said in an e-mail that she is a voracious reader and she began writing a diary and short stories in elementary school.
“I enjoyed and continue to enjoy reading good writing and exploring the craft of writing,” she said.
Drew Smith, an English teacher at Mineola and the advisor of the school newspaper, said Bimal stands out among students he instructs who are interested in journalism.
“Personality wise, she is probably one of the more passionate and dedicated kids that I work with,” he said. “She’s serious about journalism.”
Bimal won two Silver Key distinctions in the northeast region for the Scholastic Art and Writing awards, for which the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers receives hundreds of thousands of submissions each year.
Bimal said alumni of the awards include Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Maya Goldberg and Joyce Carol Oates.
“Upon receiving the award, I am happy, humbled and motivated,” she said. “I am blessed to be surrounded with my family, friends, teachers and community which has encouraged me, pushed me, motivated and inspired me to write and pursue my dreams.”