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Alexandria student wins scholarship in national writing contest

Zara Batalvi, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, was recently named a Gold Medal Portfolio winner in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Wednesday, April 12, 2017 (Kellye Lynn/ABC7 photo)

She writes about self-exploration. A Pakistani-American teen finding her identity in a complicated world.

"I love my work. I love writing, I love myself and all the stuff I create and that's my confidence," says Zara Batalvi.

Some of the subject matters are painful....her fathers' home oceans away....destroyed in a suicide bombing.

"I watched on like an outsider as ruins buried the myths that made my father," says Batalvi.

The 17-year-old's words are now getting national recognition. The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology senior was recently named a Gold Medal Portfolio winner in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

More than 2,500 students entered the competition but only 16 were chosen as Gold Medal Portfolio winners who earned a scholarship of $10,000.

Batalvi will use the money for college where she plans to major in Pre-Law. Although she doesn't intend to make a career out of creative writing, she says she won't stop.

"If it's something that helps other people to find a way to cope with their situation, then I think it's more important to me to keep doing it," says Batalvi.

In June, Batalvi will be recognized at Carnegie Hall in New York. Her work will also soon be on display at a gallery in the Big Apple.


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