A Fall River School is praising one of its students after he received a prestigious award granted only to a handful of individuals within the arts.

18-year-old Ismael Alves is a senior at B.M.C. Durfee High School whose love for painting has come full circle. A few years ago, Alves recently immigrated from São Miguel, Açores, and is currently studying as an E.L.L. (English Language Learner).

On March 27th, the school announced that Alves was selected as a National Gold Key Winner for the Scholastic Art Awards. Thousands of entries were submitted throughout the country and among them, Alves's abstract painting landed him a regional award. As a result, his artwork now gets submitted at a national level and the best part- he used spatulas as his paintbrush.

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"For years, here at Durfee, we participate and have participated in this art competition that is nationwide called the National Scholastic art and writing award," Jacqueline Francisco- Fine and Performing Arts Director for Fall River Public Schools said, "Students can either submit artwork or writing and every year we'll get an honorable mention here or there, sometimes a silver at the regional level, but nothing compared to what Ismael has achieved."

Courtesy Jacqueline Francisco
Courtesy Jacqueline Francisco

Although Ismael is not an AP (advanced placement) student, he's still competing against other AP programs across the nation. It's An underdog story of a local immigrant that's up against some of the brightest minds in the country, like his own.

The next step for Alves is accepting the prestigious award in New York on June 6th where he will walk across the stage of Carnegie Hall. Fransisco assures that the school will be helping Alves and his mother by making sure they are set up to go to New York with proper transportation.

Best of luck and Kudos, Alves!

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