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Launching Leaders Winners Gallery - 2021

Letters Awards

The worldwide pandemic of 2020-21 brought Humanity to a full stop. We had time to reflect upon our outer life circumstances and careers. And because we had time to slow down, we came face-to-face with our inner, mental/emotional lives. Our Launching Leaders in the Arts Letters entrants shared their reflective process through their essays and poems. The themes of future, careers, and family/personal relationships in tandem with their coming-of-age process, were powerfully expressed through their entries.



2021 Letters Judges: Judy Allen, Amy Elder, Maddy Ginsberg, Francesca Simon

Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation Award of Excellence


Madelyn Halperin

Pimento Cheese

Theme: Future Leadership: problem-solving in everyday

circumstances lead to mastery of life on all levels

Venice High School

Teacher: Es Swihart

Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation Special Awards


Simone Liang

An Apology to My Motherland


Theme: Racial Identity as a foundation for personal authenticity

Southeast High School

Teacher: Sara Bizek

Ashley Tinoco

The Red Jacket

Theme: Racial Identity as a foundation for personal authenticity

Manatee High School

Teacher: Melissa Powley Link

Anna Lesnick

Letter to My Future Self


Theme: Self-reflection on future plans

State College of Florida Collegiate School Venice

Miranda Clapp

What She Promised

Theme: Coming-of-age reflection on trauma in relationships

Sarasota Military Academy

Teacher: Dr. Cecilia Ferradino

Betty Altman Art Awards

Congratulations to our 2021 visual arts winners. The variety of mediums used was imaginative and impressive—from fine art and photography to digital art. The entries illustrated talent and technology, and we are grateful to the teachers who urged these winners to enter!


2021 Art Judges: Jojo Fusco, Marie Garafano, and Lady Lynn Wilson


The Betty Altman Award of Excellence


Sarah Belli


Mixed Media




Sarasota High School

Teacher: Mary Jo Floryjanski, Teacher

The Betty Altman Special Awards


Ella Mirman

Birth of Nature's Breath















Booker High School

Jeffery Cornwell, Teacher

Birth of Nature's Breath

Sayo Hayashi
















Booker High School

Jeffery Cornwell, Teacher


Alexa VanSuch
















Sarasota High School

Debra Markley, Teacher


Margaux Moussier
















Venice High School

Jackie Henson-Dacey, Teacher

Music Awards

In the face of the worst possible adversity, our three young composers have not only proven their will to survive, but their tenacity and willingness to thrive and create that which is safely nestled inside their hearts and minds. Today, they become award-winning composers with grace.



Chair & Music Judge 2021, Jan Eberle Schaberg

First Place


Juan Velasquez-Rodriguez

A Journey For Honor - Concert Band

Southeast High School

Andrea Vella, Teacher

A Journey For Honor Juan Velasquez-Rodriguez
00:00 / 03:30

Second Place


Colin Leonard

Color of Twilight - Solo Piano

Booker High School

Sung Choe, Teacher

Color of TwilightColin Leonard
00:00 / 03:25

Third Place


Katherine Arico

Solemn Hour - Flute Trio

Venice High School

David Wing, Teacher

Solemn HourKatherine Arico
00:00 / 04:08
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