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MCCC’s Aspirations Arts Journal Celebrates Voices of Writers and Artists from Area High Schools


West Windsor, N.J. – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) celebrated the diverse talents and inspired voices of area high school students in grades 9 through 12 this spring in its 2016 Aspirations arts journal. This year’s journal includes poetry, fiction and essays by 69 teens and drawings and photographs by 77. A number of the students had multiple submissions selected for the publication.

MCCC hosted a ceremony that brought together the students, their teachers, and proud family members at Kelsey Theatre, where they received complimentary copies of the journal. 

MCCC Associate Professor of English Nicole Homer, who serves as Aspirations’ editor, addressed the crowd. “Creative people work alone, but it’s important to have a network to support your efforts.  We are glad to be part of your network and are proud to publish your stories, poems and artwork. You are making your voices heard.”

To highlight the thought-provoking material in the pages of Aspirations, MCCC Theatre students presented dramatic readings of selected works, while other students danced tango in the background.

Jody Gazenbeek-Person, coordinator of MCCC’s Theatre/Dance program, noted that it was a joy to have his students participate in the ceremony. “We were overwhelmed by the beauty of your work,” he told the teens. "It was very meaningful for my students to bring your work to life on the stage and a hard task to pick just a few pieces to highlight."

For over 30 years, Aspirations has been published by MCCC to showcase the creative writing and artwork of area high school students. Professor Homer notes that the publication continues to provide a vehicle for young people to explore their creative sides, to get recognized for their work and to share their work with an audience of peers and adults.



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Students from Hopewell Valley Central High School were among area high schoolers featured in MCCC's 2016 Aspirations arts journal.
MCCC Theatre and Dance students brought the works to life. Pictured at right is Theatre/Dance Program Coordinator Jody Gazenbeek-Person.
The MCCC Jazz Band also performed.
Glenn Kraft