(EATONTOWN, NJ) -- The increasing role of technological innovations in our daily lives is growing and by recognizing the significance of the arts, the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics) field provides countless opportunities for people of all ages. For her contributions to the field, Klaire Clifford, a high school student from Eatontown, NJ, was awarded the STEAM Scholarship by National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Of more than 600 applicants, Clifford was one of 10 students who were selected to each be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Clifford wants to make a difference in people’s lives by becoming an art therapist – as art therapy has helped change her life. A student with autism, she struggled in school and faced academic and social challenges, but she persevered. Acts of unkindness and bullying she faced often left her feeling depressed and anxious, and she found it hard to communicate with others. Then, an art therapist taught her to share her thoughts and feelings with sand art. Painting, drawing, making jewelry, or doing anything with art helps her express her thoughts and cope with emotions.
For others who are struggling with similar issues, Clifford says art therapy can be part of the coping and healing processes because it encourages creativity and ends isolation by opening communication. During her undergraduate studies, she plans to explore a plethora of fine arts, such as painting, drawing, and sculpture, along with psychology, social work, and counseling. As a graduate student, she will work hard to achieve her master’s degree in art therapy and, in the process, help advance her community’s understanding of the therapeutic process.
National Society for High School Scholars (NSHSS) is the premier honors and scholarship program co-founded by Claes Nobel and James Lewis. It offers a lifetime of benefits, pairing the highest performing students worldwide with high school and college scholarships, events, connections, internships, and career opportunities that begin in high school and carry on through college and careers.