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Youngest Student wins American Bar Association annual photography contest

Thy Vu is the youngest student ever to win the American Bar Association annual student photography contest. According to Jim Landman, Associate Director, American Bar Association Division of Public Education, Vu showed exceptional talent for visually interpreting the annual Images of Freedom contest. Vu traveled to Washington, DC, at the end of April where she received her award and a tour of the capitol. Landman commented that a prestigious panel of judges chose her photo from among those of middle school and high school students because of her attention to light as well as her ability to illustrate the difficult theme of this year's contest: Celebrate Your Freedom-Independent Courts Protect Our Liberties.

Vu, originally from Vietnam, is a seventh grader at College Place Middle School in Lynnwood, Washington. She credits her interests in fine arts partially to her mother, an artist, who taught her to observe light and nature. Several years ago, Vu began drawing cartoons, and then with encouragement from her mother, she began drawing from real life. Interestingly, Vu explains that she first turned to art because bullies at school in Vietnam were harassing her. In the beginning, she turned to art for comfort, now she turns to art as an expression of her observations, hopes and dreams; however, she still likes to draw cartoons.

Vu's winning photo of classmate, Mary Yilma from Ethiopia, looking at a replica of the Statue of Liberty's torch, is called "Pure Court Thinking About Freedom." It depicts the importance of separating judges from outside influences when they make decisions based upon law rather than politics. Vu explained the symbols she used in the photograph, "The girl in white represents purity because judges should make pure decisions when no one has the right to influence them." She added, "Judges should follow only the law so we will have freedom."


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