The National Cartoonists Society Foundation (NCSF) is happy to announce the winner of the 2023 Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship – Sasha Wootten.
Sasha is an Animation major at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH. She was chosen from over 80 applicants for the award, which includes a $5,000 scholarship and the presentation of a Scholarship plaque by a delegation of NCS members this spring.
From Sasha: “I was raised in Maryland where my love for visual arts first began. From an early age I loved watching cartoons. The first notable examples of this were shows like Phineas and Ferb and Tom and Jerry, but later that fixation expanded to shows like My Little Pony and Steven Universe. These shows greatly influenced me and carried me down the path of cartooning. Throughout my childhood, I constantly had a pencil and paper in hand, ready to visualize my own stories. I am fortunate enough to have two loving parents who supported me since day one, and allowed me to explore this passion and develop it into what it is today. I now attend college at The Cleveland Institute of Art where I am pursuing a career in storyboarding and character design. Without the help from my parents, friends, peers and mentors I couldn’t have ever made it this far. I’m not done yet though! Once I graduate, I hope to contribute to future shows and inspire others the same way the shows of my childhood inspired me. Next year I will be a senior. It is a scary thought, knowing I soon have to leave the comfort of my school in order to enter the real world. This scholarship has given me so much relief, not only in making my school experience simpler, but giving me the confidence to dream big. To aim for working side by side with those who influenced me so greatly. I want to thank the National Cartoonists Society Foundation for this opportunity. I promise I won’t let you down!”
The Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship is an annual award established in memory of Jay Kennedy, the late King Features comics editor, from an initial grant from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional generous donations from other prominent cartoonists. It is administered by the National Cartoonists Society Foundation. The applicants submitted eight examples of their work along with an entry form that included short essays on their current and future plans in cartooning. Entries were judged by a jury of professional cartoonists who are members of the National Cartoonists Society Foundation. The scholarship is awarded to a college student in the United States, Canada or Mexico who will be in their Junior or Senior year of college during the following academic year.