17-year-old Yarah is a three-time Visual Arts Scholastic Event gold medalist in addition to earning a silver medal at the national level and being a Society for the Performing Arts Students contest winner.
Favorite class: "Despite my plans to pursue an art-related career, I find myself enjoying my College Algebra DC class most out of my day. I love the rewarding feeling of overcoming hard topics and finally understanding confusing solving techniques. The classmates are also very supporting of each other and aren't bothered by questions form their nearby neighbors. Our teacher (Sonja Venable) is also very thorough with the material, going above and beyond to help a student excel."
Favorite things to do after class: "I love spending time drawing characters I've created in stories that I hope to use in my future art career. I love creating a safe space for unrepresented people using my original characters and designing them in unique ways, presenting their flaws as something they embrace instead of hiding away."
Favorite song: "Girls/Girls/Boys by Panic at the Disco."
Favorite website: "I love using YouTube.com to look at how other artists work, watching their tutorials or recordings of how they produced an artwork. The YouTube artist community is also very accepting of beginning artists and encouraging them as opposed to mocking them. Seeing these young artists being supported and allowing to grow warms my heart more than anything else."
Favorite TV show: "The Netflix adaption of One Day at a Time is one of my all-time favorite shows due to its openness to talk about modern topics without censoring the emotional impact it had on people. The family structure and the challenges the family faces reminds me of my own family, both pulling heartstrings inside me and giving me hope for the future."
Favorite movie: "Bright, a Netflix original movie, holds a special place on my movie list for its modern fantasy twist on today's issue. One of the main characters, Nick Jakoby, is admirable and lovable all around without feeding the sterotypes of the community it represents and feeds into the story in a constructive way. I know for sure I will never stop enjoying this movie."
Ambition: "One of my biggest ambitions is publishing my own comic story. I want to use my love for art and battles for equity to represent different minorities with diverse characters while telling compelling stories of romance and adventure. I hope to inspire the future generations to go after their dreams and call to action movements of justice for the unrepresented."
What topics/things are you passionate about?: "Two of my strongest passions are art and the strive of equality in society. I tend to use both in my life combined, making artworks that address topics dealing with representation and the struggles of minorities. As a Hispanic, LGBT woman, I feel strongly toward these topics and use art to express my opinion in peaceful ways."
What inspires you?: "While it may seem self-centered, I find inspiration within myself more than anything else. I have taught myself to push through difficult situations in my life and have learned to find strength in the darkest of times. This drove me to do a lot of self-reflection as I grew up, acknowledging both my weaknesses and flaws to become even stronger and help others."
What three things can't you live without?: "I cannot live without my art, storytelling and music. While my life has been dynamic in many ways, whether quickly getting over interest or having my way of life changed due to outside forces, these three things have been a comfort to me and fill me with inspiration that I carry with me every day in my life."
What are you most looking forward to this semester?: "I cannot wait to graduate and finally go off to college. Starting the next stage of my life fills me with excitement and the idea of surrounding myself with a completely new environment is an entirely different adventure to me. Including the fact that I can engulf myself in art makes me inpatient for the first day of college."