The Boys & Girls Clubs of America recently named Jamie Hinojosa as the national winner for the 13-15 year old age group in the film category of the Digital Arts Festivals and ImageMakers National Photography competition. Hinojosa’s entry, “I’m Not Afraid to Be Uniquely Me,” was selected during an awards gala as part of a weeklong recognition trip for finalists during which the teen digital artists are treated to local cuisine, entertainment and the arts, all sponsored by Sony Electronics.

Now in its 13th year, the Digital Arts Festivals program invites Club members ages 6 to 18 to submit their computer-generated art in one of six categories: photo illustration, music making, graphic design, game design, movie animation and film. Each year, more than 35,000 kids participate in the Digital Arts Festivals.

“We are extremely proud of Jamie’s efforts and are delighted to celebrate her hard work and talent. With fewer than half of our public schools offering visual arts programs, it’s more important than ever that we support outside programs like BGCA’s Digital Arts Festivals to help our youth develop an interest in technology and support the creation of a strong STEM workforce,” Tim Blaylock, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica said.

Hinojosa’s original film, “I’m Not Afraid to Be Uniquely Me,” tells the story of how she overcame her social fear by remaining true to who she is. Hinojosa, a 14-year-old student at Marina Del Rey Middle School, has been a member of BGCSM for two-and-a-half years. It was through the Club’s Technology Center that she was introduced to the digital arts. This was her first time submitting an entry to the Digital Arts Festival. As a category winner, she received a Sony a5000 mirrorless camera and a 32GB high-speed memory card.

An important component in the BGCSM STEM programming, ImageMakers is a comprehensive digital photography program for club members. No prior experience is necessary and the goal is to teach digital photography as art and vocation.

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