Hello, my name is Alanna Soares. I am currently a freshman at Science Park High School. My achievements include being elected as 9th grade vice president. In this position I try to make our 9th grade year as best as possible considering we are in a pandemic.  More specifically, I find creative ways to secure funding for the freshman class through selling merchandise and organizing meetups. Aside from this, I do debate. Most of my focus is on policy debate, in which I have been competing at the national level as a freshman. Though it is hard and sometimes stressful, debate is my strong suit.  In doing this activity, it has improved my communication skills whether it comes to public speaking or just having normal conversations.  This activity has also expanded my knowledge on real world issues and importance in talking about them. For fun, I play the clarinet. It helps me clear my mind and is a safe zone for me. Other than that, I have an interest in certain sports but due to covid a lot of them got canceled. In the near future, I hope to qualify to the most prestigious high school debate tournaments.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.