Enya Cirillo’s brand new passport will get its first stamps this summer when she travels to France and Switzerland on a highly sought-after National Geographic photography student expedition scholarship. Enya will have two-and-a-half weeks to soak-up Europe and learn from a professional photographer before she goes to art school in the fall.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the world for the first time,” she said. While she may not have literally traveled very far she has experienced the world through the people she knows and loves. She wrote in her scholarship application essay, “My mind has traveled far and wide, but I’ve never been given the opportunity to travel physically rather than mentally and I hope that National Geographic will help me do just that.”
She said she is especially appreciative of Ms. Wetzel and Mrs. Wienckowski who wrote the necessary teacher recommendations.
The daughter of Bolivian-American and Uruguayan parents, Enya grew up in a Buffalo apartment complex surrounded by African, Hispanic, European and Asian immigrants. “Throughout my childhood, making conversation was never a hassle. The easiest conversation starter was the small hand-held camera I religiously carried around,” she wrote in her winning essay. “My interests in photography grew faster and wider. With those who lived above or below me and those who I’ve evolved with, I kept myself busy by listening to them share stories about their ethnicity. As they shared, I captured.”