Greenwich students win honorable mention scholarship for essays

The Avon Theatre Film Center Board of Directors has announced the winners of the Sixth annual Avon Scholarship Essay Contest. The scholarship awards will be presented at a ceremony at 7:15 p.m. at the Avon on Tuesday, June 2, prior to the screening of the new documentary, Rubble Kings. The contest was open to high school seniors in both public and private schools throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

Greenwich High School students who won the honorable mention scholarship are Marina Pipher, who plans to attend SUNY Purchase College, and Natalie Wallington, who plans to attend Johns Hopkins University.

Students were asked to submit a 500-700 word essay on “Why Film Matters” based on a film they had seen that opened in 2014 or 2015. The film could be a feature, documentary, short, American or foreign. They were also asked to write about how film, in general, impacts our society. This year the competition was fierce with 74 essays submitted. There were two ties among the top nine winners.

Each essay was read by two independent judges, all of whom are professional writers, script writers or media publishing executives. This year our judges included:

Sue Baker: Retired Greenwich High School Educator

Ann Caron: Psychologist and author of books on teens

Mimi Cohen: Retired educator and secondary school administrator

Mark Evens: Former executive at Scholastic Magazine

Beth Levine: Freelance journalist & health writer

Arlene Mark: Author, Poet & Greenwich Pen Women

Jack Moffly: Founder & Publisher of Moffly Media

Donna Moffly: Founding editor of Moffly Media

Jeanne Ronan: Filmmaker & Former Fairchild Publishing Editor

Diane Cohen Schneider: Retired Wall Street executive and novelist

Sue Baker, Avon Board member and chair of the Avon Education Initiative Committee, will introduce the winners and present them with prizes totaling $7,500. Scholarship monies are funded from donations to the Avon Red Carpet Festival and the Avon Annual Appeal. The winners’ scholarship checks are made out to the university or college each student plans to attend.

Natalie Skigen

First place winner Natalie Skigen

The 2015 Avon Scholarship winners are:

First Place ($2,000): Natalie Skigen, Westhill High – Washington University in St. Louis

Terrie Yang

Second place winner Terrie Yang

Second Place ($1,500): Terrie Yang, Staples High – University of California at Berkeley

Third Place ($1,000): Casey Benzaken, Westhill High – Northwestern University

Amamihechukwu Nnodum (honorable mention scholarship)

Amamihechukwu Nnodum (honorable mention scholarship)

Honorable Mention ($500 each):

Jessica Schwartz, Westhill High – University of Wisconsin

Samantha Halm, Westhill High – University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amamihechukwu Nnodum, Kolbe Cathedral High – Georgia Tech

Marina Pipher, Greenwich High – SUNY Purchase College

Ashley Rich, Westhill High – University of Connecticut

Natalie Wallington, Greenwich High – Johns Hopkins University

The Avon Theatre Film Center is a member-supported non-profit first-run art house showcasing the best in independent, foreign, classic, documentary, and cult classic films. The Avon, a Bedford Street landmark, has been restored to its original 1939 vintage appearance and is celebrating over 75 years of timeless elegance. As part of its mission, the Avon is dedicated to teaching educators and students about film as an art form.

Throughout the school year, the Avon welcomes students to view films that enhance their curriculum, such as the documentary that will be screened on June 2, Rubble Kings, which will also feature a post-film Q & A with award-winning filmmaker and director Shan Nicholson. The film is an important chronicle of New York City gang culture in the 1970s and its influence on the birth of hip hop. The story will resonate with young people today in that the film records how a few extraordinary forgotten people did the impossible and how their actions impacted New York City and beyond.

For more information, call 203-550-2697 or email [email protected]

Diane Cohen Schneider, Jack Moffly and Sue Baker

Judges, Diane Cohen Schneider, Jack Moffly and Sue Baker.

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