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LA high schooler wins major art scholarship

A senior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts has won a $10,000 scholarship from the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards, a prestigious national competition.

Eighteen-year-old Omar Wiseman is one of 16 students selected to win the top honor as a Portfolio Gold Medalist for his abstract figure drawings. 

"It helps boost my confidence as an artist," Wiseman said. "I feel like it will open up so many opportunities."

RELATED: New head of LACHSA talks about famous arts high school's future

Wiseman is planning to travel to New York in June for the awards ceremony. He plans to use the funds toward studying fine art at Cooper Union, a small private college in Manhattan.

"It's amazing, it's a huge help," Wiseman said.

Wiseman has been attending LACHSA since he was a freshman. He commutes from Van Nuys to the famous arts school, which is located on the Cal State Los Angeles campus. Wiseman uses public transportation, spending about three hours in transit each day. In addition to drawing, he enjoys animation and painting.

More than 300,000 submissions for the competition came in from around the country. The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers administers the awards for 7th-12th-graders. Other National Gold Medal winners for individual work from Southern California include:

  • Yea Young, Troy High School
  • Lan Xuan Liu, Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • Yixuan Luo, Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • Dayoung Chung, Crean Lutheran High School
  • Marissa Gerchick, Arnold O. Beckman High School
  • Melina Simkins, Laguna Hills High School
  • Edward Abascal De Leon, Ramon C. Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts
  • Zola Anderson, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
  • Cade Cahalan, Loyola High School
  • Julia Cardenas, Marlborough School
  • Ariella  Carmell, Marlborough School
  • Maya Chambers, Ramon C. Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts
  • Alexandra Ghassemieh, The Buckley School
  • Gabriella Goldberg, Brentwood School
  • Faith Hughes Stevenson, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts
  • Kiriko  Kajiwara, Ramon C. Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts
  • Josue Lopez, Ramon C. Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts
  • Mia  Stearn, L.A. County High School for the Arts
  • Emma Sunkin, Harvard Westlake Middle School
  • Kate Von Mende, Harvard Westlake Middle School
  • Alexandra Kukoff, Oak Park Independent School
  • Madeline Kim, Polytechnic School
  • Courtney Strafeldas, JSerra Catholic High School
  • Alex Chasteen, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Jing Thong (Cassandra) Hsiao, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Xochitl Luna, Orange County High School of the Arts
  • Daven McQueen, South High School
  • David Saveliev, Halstrom Academy