Freshman Adrian Jimenez Galindo wins Courtivron Prize

Freshman Adrian Jimenez- Galindo with President Hockfield
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The Isabelle de Courtivron Prizes are awarded annually to MIT students for writings on topics related to immigrant, diaspora, bicultural, bilingual and/or multi-racial experiences. Kym Ragusa, a co-director of the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science's Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies (CB/BS), says this year’s “many stellar competition entries” included essays on hyphenated identities, second-generation experiences of family and community, and photography during the Vietnam War.

First prize was won by freshman Adrian Jimenez-Galindo, who is studying aeronautics and astronautics and physics, for his essay, “My Life Is In Technicolor.” Prize committee members praised Jimenez-Galindo for his “eloquent use of humor and personal narrative to speak of race relations in the United States.”

Jimenez-Galindo’s essay centers on his multicultural background: his relatives hail from Cuba, Chile, Italy, the United States, Spain and Mexico. He writes, “We are all family. We all drink coffee. It doesn’t really matter where you were born, where you are from, or what are you supposed to look like, as long as you are confident in who you are.”

A native of Mexico, Jimenez-Galindo says he was encouraged to enter the contest by A.C. Kemp, who teaches Expository Writing for Bilingual Students. Jimenez-Galindo says he wasn't planning to enter, until he found himself stranded in an airport and had the opportunity to sketch out a first draft on napkins. “I wasn’t expecting to win,” he says.

You can read the full story on the MIT news site here