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      Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.  Creative Empowerment Arts Contest  Gallery

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Urooba Abid - 12th grade 
$500.00 College Scholarship Winner

Urooba Abid has enrolled in the most rigorous courses Farmingdale High School has to offer and has excelled. Urooba is a very special individual who is passionate about social activism. She is an active member and chapter leader of Girls Learn International and has worked hard to raise awareness of the issue of Islamophobia. Through Girls Learn International, Urooba was invited to speak at the United Nations during the Annual Girls Speak Out Event. It is there that she discussed the impact of western Islamophobia on Muslim girls around the globe. She has created presentations regarding Islamophobia in the Media at school meetings, and conducted research on the motivational differences between Pakistani female education and American female education. She submitted her research to the MIT Inspire Competition! 

 While she spends a great deal of time bringing awareness to this social issue, it is not Urooba’s only passion. She has several STEAM related activities including independent research with the Partners for the Future Program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Urooba had also spent a summer at Hofstra University’s Summer Research Program, working alongside a psychology professor on how to program codes for the Arduino Uno microcontroller while creating a physiotherapy glove for low income patients. She is the president of the Environmental Club and captain of the Envirothon team where they won 3rd place at the 2016 Regional Competition and 1st place in Oral Presentation. Through her leadership, Urooba’s teams were successful, focused and driven. She is also a member of the Mathletes and was a Silver Pin awardee.

Urooba is always looking to help those in need. She is the definition of altruistic and involves herself in activities that will benefit others. She is a peer tutor, a mentor to the ENL students, founded the Art Auction fundraiser, organized a volleyball tournament, and a coffee house night to raise money for Girls Education! She has received numerous accolades including the Student Leadership award for the Holocaust Memorial Center and several from the Board of Education.

He felt the whips graze his back -- feeling a pain so agonizing but so frequent that it lost all power to hurt him. He whimpered silently, gazing up at the stars, waiting for the torture to end. Time has passed, and his pain is different now. It has moved from lashes on his back to scrapes on his wrist. The weapon of a whip is replaced with cuffs. But in the end he is still locked up -- left without freedom. Many people believe that slavery was abolished in America. Those people are mistaken. Slavery was never abolished; it was simply given a new name -- incarceration. Today, in the United States, African Americans are imprisoned at nearly six times the rate of whites -- an issue too often ignored by mainstream media. My piece, "Slaves to the System," acts as a form of acknowledgement to the issue of mass incarceration. Using watercolor, I painted a man in a "mug shot" position. However, instead of holding his name, he is holding a sign of resistance -- which is also the name of the piece. The upfront nature of the piece is purposeful, as it reveals the message clearly. I am hoping that the viewers of my piece realize the reality of this issue, and that they take action -- as I have tried to do in my own community. As president of my school's Ambassadors' Club, I have made it a priority to ignite the discussion of mass incarceration along with issues such as police brutality and racism. The reaction I have witnessed from members of my club inspired me to continue raising awareness. Using both my voice and art, I hope to spark conversation and initiate rhetoric for change. ​

 Slaves To The System