A Valley Stream teen is the grand-prize winner of an essay contest for her thoughts on Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Allyce Yang, a senior at Valley Stream South High School, beat out 635 New York metro area students to take the top spot in the high-school level of a Hispanic Heritage Month essay contest coordinated by Cablevision’s Optimum Community in conjunction with Olympusat, an independent media provider.
The contest invited pupils to name a Latino, past or present, with whom they would choose to spend a day and why. Yang chose Kahlo, who is known for self-portraits, reflecting aspects of her life. She was awarded a $2,500 college scholarship.
Yang’s other feats include being a 2016 National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and winning a 2015 achievement award in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English. She also plays viola and is an All-State musician.
“We applaud Allyce on a job well done,” said Jennifer Ostrager, the vice president of public affairs for Cablevision, which owns Newsday. “This annual contest provides young people with an opportunity to better understand the key role Hispanic Americans have played in our culture.”
Other local winners were Cara Yesko of Long Island Lutheran High School in Glen Head and Gabrielle Ramirez of Walt Whitman High School in South Huntington, who placed first and third in the high school level, respectively.
Jessica Zhang of Merrick Avenue Middle School placed third among middle schoolers.