Saturday, November 27, 2010

YJI Wishes Happy Birthday to Dutch Writer and Photographer

Happy birthday to Cara Nelissen, who turned 19 today.
Cara is an award-winning YJI writer, capturing the prestigious Frank Keegan "Take No Prisoners" Award for News earlier this year.

She was the first to win and you can see her here, posing with her prize, a beautiful crystal trophy with a globe atop it. The globe actually spins!

Cara, who was accepted as a YJI student from the Netherlands in September 2009, jumped in with both feet.

She's written almost every kind of story, from first person advice about succeeding in art classs (her first piece for YJI) to movie reviews and first-hand accounts of street demonstrations in Istanbul, snowstorms that stranded travelers in her own country and Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. She translated a piece by Connecticut YJI student Yelena Samofalova about an upcoming Youth Peace Summit into Dutch and much, much more. She takes great photographs, too.

Like many of YJI's reporters around the globe, Cara is doing all this writing in a second language.

Her most recent work is an interesting account about an ancient cemetery in the Dutch town of Ermelo and the efforts to preserve it. You can read it here:

She won our first Keegan award for her coverage of a controversial subject in her homeland -- the helper "Black Pete" that travels with Sinterklaas delivering presents in early December. Her story told how some in the Netherlands viewed the character as racist, while others saw it as a harmless, charming tradition. We'll steer blog readers to that story soon, as St. Nicholas Eve is rapidly approaching.

Until then, please join us in wishing Cara a happy birthday!


Cara Nelissen said...

Aww, thank you so much!!! :D

Pushkal Shivam said...

Cara is really inspirational.