The National Steinbeck Center hosted the Steinbeck Young Authors’ ceremony on May 5 during its 32nd Annual Steinbeck Festival.
This year’s award ceremony featured author Francisco Jimenez with an inspirational talk about searching for the American dream. In addition, all of the student essays are published in the Gabilan Journal.
This year's award winners are:
Danicia Alfaro from La Paz Middle School
Natalie Rose Carbonel from Madonna del Sasso School
Yadira Chávez from Harden Middle School
Ryan Griffin from San Benancio Middle School
Anna Gumberg from San Benancio Middle School
Jacqueline Hernández from La Paz Middle School
Daira Hipólito from Main Street Middle School
Julia Hwang from All Saints' Day School
Paul Kunz from International School of Monterey
Julianne McCoun from Madonna del Sasso School
Jovany Medrano from La Paz Middle School
Daniel Rodríguez from Main Street Middle
Ellie Skromme from San Antonio Elementary
Mattie Trainor from International School of Monterey
Sonia Vargas from La Paz Middle School
Megan Wasson from San Benancio Middle School
The Steinbeck Young Authors Program consists of three stages: a classroom component for all students, a Day of Writing event for teacher-nominated students, and an Awards Ceremony.
Steinbeck Young Authors’ teachers select two students to attend a special Day of Writing at the National Steinbeck Center, where they write an essay combining their personal life experiences and their studies of The Red Pony. They are then paired with a volunteer writing ‘coach.’ A panel of experts judge the students’ works over a two-week period.
Since it began, over 20,000 students have participated from public and private schools throughout California and beyond. Teachers report that participating students demonstrate increased confidence in their writing skills and develop a new self-image as a writer at a pivotal time in their development.