Bronxville High School junior Olivia Cevasco won a national Silver Medal for her dramatic script, “First Lady Astronauts,” in the prestigious 98th annual 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.
“As a young writer, it is empowering to have my work recognized,” Cevasco said. “Receiving this award makes me feel like I can become a screenwriter if I continue to work hard on my storytelling.”
Cevasco’s work stood out among thousands of entries for its excellence in originality, technical skills and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. More than 80,000 students submitted nearly 230,000 works of art and writing to the competition this year, and 1,917 works – less than 1% – received national medals. Her screenplay is based on the story of 13 female aviators, nicknamed the “Mercury 13,” who successfully passed NASA’s astronaut tests in the early 1960s but were ultimately not accepted as astronauts because of their gender.
“I am incredibly honored to receive this medal and hope to continue shedding light on this story, because the Mercury 13 women deserve more recognition than they’ve received for their boundless determination and groundbreaking work to advocate for women’s inclusion in America’s space program,” Cevasco said.
In June, her screenplay will be published in Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ online gallery at artandwriting.org. She will also be recognized in the organization’s 2021 Yearbook, and her work may be featured in Scholastic’s “The Best Teen Writing” anthology.
As a national medalist, Cevasco will be recognized at an awards ceremony, which will be held virtually on June 9.
Presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers in grades 7–12.