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Jayla Smith

2405

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am most passionate about my artistic endeavors, and have been doing everything in my power to someday achieve my dream of being a professional storyboard artist. In the fall I will begin my studies at the prestigious art college, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). I will be surrounded by talented peers and faculty. A scholarship would help improve my experience at the school greatly, as it would mean I would spend less time worried about affording school, and I would spend more time bettering myself and my art. In the past two years I have won the following art awards: •Judges award by the Hudson county alliance teen artists •3 Gold Keys from the scholastic art and writing awards •A gold key portfolio from the scholastic art and writing awards (will be entered for national judging) •An American visions nomination (will be entered for national judging)

Education

Dr Ronald Mcnair High School

High School
2020 - 2024
  • GPA:
    3.9

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Visual and Performing Arts, Other
    • Fine and Studio Arts
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 1420
      SAT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Animation

    • Dream career goals:

      Storyboard artist

    • Cashier

      Panera
      2024 – Present7 months

    Sports

    Volleyball

    Junior Varsity
    2020 – 20211 year

    Arts

    • Scholastic art and writing awards

      Visual Arts
      2022 – 2023
    • School of visual arts

      Animation
      2022 – 2023
    • JCarts

      Visual Arts
      2020 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      National Chinese Honor society — Helper
      2022 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Kathryn Graham "Keyport's Mom" Scholarship
    One of my earliest memories is sitting on a carpeted floor, gawking at a small box television in my living room. I remember sitting so close to the screen that I could hear the soft electrical buzz emanating from it, drowning out any chaos going on in other rooms of the house. I was enamored with the selection of cartoons. From Rugrats to Teen Titans, I was locked into a new fictional world every minute of every day. Every morning it was the first thing I saw when I woke up, and every night it was the last thing I saw before I fell asleep. Animation taught me to think, to dream, to learn and, to connect. I grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn with my parents and older sister. From ages 5-13, I went to gifted and talented schools far away from home. As a kid I often felt alienated in school, there were very few other people of color around and my peers often made it clear that I was a little different from everyone else. The isolation was easiest to ignore during class, as I was too focused on lessons to notice the whispers around me. But, the murmurs always seemed the loudest during lunches and recess. The only thing that made it bearable for me was watching cartoons on the TV's that hung around the cafeteria. Instead of being forced to listen to the odd comments from my peers, I found an escape through some of my favorite cartoons. The mocking jeers of the people around me were quickly drowned out by the addictive visuals of The Amazing World of Gumball. The unwarranted over-surveillance from my teachers was immediately disregarded as The Loud House appeared on the screen. Suddenly, the school became a lot less uncomfortable. I felt like I was being catered for once. I felt seen. I’m interested in majoring in animation because someday I want to create or produce a show that leaves a similar mark on future kids as the cartoons of my childhood did for me. I want to be able to give back to a community that helped get me through some of the hardest points in my life. Additionally, I hope to create shows that showcase more diversity; I want to go into animation because I want to heal my younger self and help heal the children of the future.
    Lewis Hollins Memorial Art Scholarship
    Winner
    I can still vividly remember soothing Sunday mornings, sitting in my room with a pen in my hand and a blank sheet of paper in front of me. The bombastic beats of Sean Paul's music filled the air, making my fingers tap along to the rhythm. As I doodled away, I could hear my mother sweeping the floors of our home. Despite the noise, I felt calm and content, lost in my little world of artistic expression. My mother immigrated as a teenager to the United States in the 1980s. Although she spent most of her life living in America, her Jamaican roots never disappeared. As such, I was able to form a connection to the culture by proxy. Unfortunately, my relationship with Jamaican culture is fractured because I never had the chance to authentically experience the Caribbean. I understand patois, but I can't speak it. I love sorrel and chicken foot soup, but I have no clue how to make it. I've become some sort of a hybrid; Jamaican enough to be othered in school but too American to be considered a “yardee” at home. In a Caribbean family, being an artist is not considered a respectable career, at least not enough to honor my mother’s struggle when she came to this country. My desire to have an art career was seen as childish and a byproduct of my privileged American upbringing. I had to fight for the artistic opportunities I have now. I am a self-taught artist. I began teaching myself near the end of middle school, but my new “hobby” was ignored by my family, and referred to as a waste of time. I relied on verbal affirmations for my art, with no response. This experience taught me to scrutinize my work, identify areas for improvement, and learn from my mistakes. I had no other artistic guidance, so I had to become my own counsel. As I got older, and, in turn, more comfortable with my creations, I came to appreciate how rare it was for there to be eyes on my art; it gave me the freedom to move away from needing each piece to be perfect. Eventually, I began exploring the deeper meaning of my creations, aiming to convey a story rather than just an appealing aesthetic. Through my art, I was also able to learn more about myself and how my point of view differs from the people around me. Being a "hybrid" means my perspective differs from that of my peers as well as my mother. My decisions, likes, and interests are all a by-product of my unique interpretation of the world around me, and, as such, when I'm creating something that reflects my experiences, I feel most creative.
    Alexis Mackenzie Memorial Scholarship for the Arts
    I can still vividly remember soothing Sunday mornings, sitting in my room with a pen in my hand and a blank sheet of paper in front of me. The bombastic beats of Sean Paul's music filled the air, making my fingers tap along to the rhythm. As I doodled away, I could hear my mother sweeping the floors of our home. Despite the noise, I felt calm and content, lost in my little world of artistic expression. My mother immigrated as a teenager to the United States in the 1980s. Although she spent most of her life living in America, her Jamaican roots never disappeared. As such, I was able to form a connection to the culture by proxy. Unfortunately, my relationship with Jamaican culture is fractured because I never had the chance to authentically experience the Caribbean. I understand patois, but I can't speak it. I love sorrel and chicken foot soup, but I have no clue how to make it. I've become some sort of a hybrid; Jamaican enough to be othered in school but too American to be considered a “yardee” at home. In a Caribbean family, being an artist is not considered a respectable career, at least not enough to honor my mother’s struggle when she came to this country. My desire to have an art career was seen as childish and a byproduct of my privileged American upbringing. I had to fight for the artistic opportunities I have now. I am a self-taught artist. I began teaching myself near the end of middle school, but my new “hobby” was ignored by my family, and referred to as a waste of time. I relied on verbal affirmations for my art, with no response. This experience taught me to scrutinize my work, identify areas for improvement, and learn from my mistakes. I had no other artistic guidance, so I had to become my own counsel. As I got older, and, in turn, more comfortable with my creations, I came to appreciate how rare it was for there to be eyes on my art; it gave me the freedom to move away from needing each piece to be perfect. Eventually, I began exploring the deeper meaning of my creations, aiming to convey a story rather than just an appealing aesthetic. Through my art, I was also able to learn more about myself and how my point of view differs from the people around me. Being a "hybrid" means my perspective differs from that of my peers as well as my mother. My decisions, likes, and interests are all a by-product of my unique interpretation of the world around me, and, as such, when I'm creating something that reflects my experiences, I feel most creative.
    Frank and Nelcie Williams Memorial Scholarship
    One of my earliest memories is sitting on a carpeted floor, gawking at a small box television in my living room. I remember sitting so close to the screen that I could hear the soft electrical buzz emanating from it, drowning out any chaos going on in other rooms of the house. I was enamored with the selection of cartoons. From Rugrats to Teen Titans, I was locked into a new fictional world every minute of every day. Every morning it was the first thing I saw when I woke up, and every night it was the last thing I saw before I fell asleep. Animation taught me to think, to dream, to learn and, to connect. I grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn with my parents and older sister. From ages 5-13, I went to gifted and talented schools far away from home. As a kid I often felt alienated in school, there were very few other people of color around and my peers often made it clear that I was a little different from everyone else. The isolation was easiest to ignore during class, as I was too focused on lessons to notice the whispers around me. But, the murmurs always seemed the loudest during lunches and recess. The only thing that made it bearable for me was watching cartoons on the TV's that hung around the cafeteria. Instead of being forced to listen to the odd comments from my peers, I found an escape through some of my favorite cartoons. The mocking jeers of the people around me were quickly drowned out by the addictive visuals of The Amazing World of Gumball. The unwarranted over-surveillance from my teachers was immediately disregarded as The Loud House appeared on the screen. Suddenly, the school became a lot less uncomfortable. I felt like I was being catered for once. I felt seen. I’m interested in majoring in animation because someday I want to create or produce a show that leaves a similar mark on future kids as the cartoons of my childhood did for me. I want to be able to give back to a community that helped get me through some of the hardest points in my life. Additionally, I hope to create shows that showcase more diversity; I want to go into animation because I want to heal my younger self and help heal the children of the future.
    Goobie-Ramlal Education Scholarship
    One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my mother was the importance of self-sufficiency, perseverance, and supporting those closest to me. Growing up, I watched my mother rely heavily on herself to pay the bills, take care of her two children, and most importantly, motivate herself to keep going in the face of adversity. Though she faced many hardships, my mother never allowed them to slow her down. Her life wasn't easy, but she never gave up. My mother spent the first 14 years of her life in Kingston, Jamaica, with her parents and five younger siblings. As it became clear that America offered better opportunities and more safety, my mother's family immigrated to the US on a student visa in the 80s. Adjusting to her new life wasn't easy, especially since she didn't have access to the same resources as other students who were citizens. Nevertheless, my mother continued to fight for a better life for herself and her family. By the age of 17, my mother was juggling many responsibilities. She had to nurture her younger siblings, be a full-time student, and work, all while helping her family. There was never a day when my mother didn't have to multitask to support her family, and because of this, I learned the value of hard work and perseverance from an early age. There was never a day when my mother did not have to multitask to support her family, whether she was the head of the household or merely the oldest sibling. I believe that watching her when I was young made it feel natural to follow in her footsteps. I have decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation during my college years. I chose this career path in order to create media that shines a spotlight on non-traditional families like mine, and courageous characters that emulate my mother. Like my mother, I intend to support my family by any means possible. In being the first person in my family to attain a college degree, I believe I can make a significant contribution to my family's survival and prosperity. Despite my plan to work while in college to avoid being a financial burden on my family, I would be grateful to be considered for this scholarship. This scholarship would provide me with the financial stability to pay for my tuition and fully chase my dreams and career goals.
    Doña Lupita Immigrant Scholarship
    One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my mother was the importance of self-sufficiency, perseverance, and supporting those closest to me. Growing up, I watched my mother rely heavily on herself to pay the bills, take care of her two children, and most importantly, motivate herself to keep going in the face of adversity. Though she faced many hardships, my mother never allowed them to slow her down. Her life wasn't easy, but she never gave up. My mother spent the first 14 years of her life in Kingston, Jamaica, with her parents and five younger siblings. As it became clear that America offered better opportunities and more safety, my mother's family immigrated to the US on a student visa in the 80s. Adjusting to her new life wasn't easy, especially since she didn't have access to the same resources as other students who were citizens. Nevertheless, my mother continued to fight for a better life for herself and her family. By the age of 17, my mother was juggling many responsibilities. She had to nurture her younger siblings, be a full-time student, and work, all while helping her family. There was never a day when my mother didn't have to multitask to support her family, and because of this, I learned the value of hard work and perseverance from an early age. There was never a day when my mother did not have to multitask to support her family, whether she was the head of the household or merely the oldest sibling. I believe that watching her when I was young made it feel natural to follow in her footsteps. I have decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation during my college years. I chose this career path in order to create media that shines a spotlight on non-traditional families like mine, and courageous characters that emulate my mother. Like my mother, I intend to support my family by any means possible. In being the first person in my family to attain a college degree, I believe I can make a significant contribution to my family's survival and prosperity. Despite my plan to work while in college to avoid being a financial burden on my family, I would be grateful to be considered for this scholarship. This scholarship would provide me with the financial stability to pay for my tuition and fully chase my dreams and career goals.
    New Kids Can Scholarship
    Thank you, room 318. I can still vividly remember the awkward looming silence that permeated the hallway as I was escorted to my new homeroom, room 318. While the school was technically much larger than my old school, it felt smaller—claustrophobic. The walls were made of a thick brick, covered in old peeling paint that chipped and littered the floor around it. I felt out of place. This was my first time in a regular education class, my first time in a school that wasn't miles away from my home. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and for the first thirteen years of my life, I rode multiple forms of transportation to and from school. Although I lived in a low-income neighborhood, my schooling was far from home, because of this I was lucky enough to be exposed to the best equipment, great facilities, gifted and talented classes, etc. However, my school came with its own set of problems. Being in the ‘gifted and talented’ classes since Kindergarten exposed me to a competitive style of learning from an early age. I was trained to have the mindset that perfection is to be achieved at any cost. The pressure from trying to be perfect so often was draining, but having never been exposed to anything else I just pushed myself harder. It wasn't easy acclimating to room 318, I knew I seemed out of place from the moment I stepped into the classroom. For starters, I seemed too eager to be liked by my teachers, often losing my voice when I had an opposing opinion or thought of an answer that wouldn’t be met with praise. I hadn’t had an art class since kindergarten, so coming up with ideas for designs or creative projects was foreign to me. But, I would look around and all I would see was the other children producing new ideas and putting them on paper, regardless of whether or not it’d get them the best grade. In math, the students were less worried about memorization and were more focused on making sure they understood the concepts. Most importantly, they didn't beat themselves up over less-than-perfect test scores, they were content with the thought that they did their best. I was finally allowed to cut myself some slack. I was no longer required to strive for perfection at the cost of my happiness. That freedom allowed me to explore a creative side of me that I didn't know I had. While the move brought a lot of good changes to my worldview, the one I am most grateful for is the newfound emotional maturity. Pre-move I put my need for academic validation above my mental health. I often spent long nights pushing myself for perfection, and in turn, only burning myself out further. In 2020, my father passed away from health complications. It happened in the second month of my freshman year, during the pandemic. I was in a relatively new state with no one, other than my family, to lean on. I know for certain, that if this had happened to me back in middle school or even elementary school I might have forced myself to push through it all. But, instead, I gave myself time to heal. In putting myself first I was not only able to help myself deal with the loss, but I was able to create a balance between my home and school life. I will be forever grateful to that 7th grade classroom, without them I wouldn’t be creative, content, and most of all, happy. Thank you, room 318.