It’s always great to be able to mention accomplishments of our community’s young people. It’s even more exciting when that accomplishment brings national recognition.

Railroad Street Youth Project, the dynamic youth empowerment nonprofit organization serving young people in southern Berkshire County, tells us that Great Barrington resident Sophie Shron, a senior at Monument Mountain Regional High School, has been awarded a Silver Medal in Painting from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her outstanding leadership in the design and creation of four murals celebrating the life and accomplishments of well-known civil rights activist, writer and Great Barrington native W.E.B. Du Bois.

The W.E.B. Du Bois mural project was a youth-led initiative. An emerging artist and youth leader, Sophie volunteered to lead a team of almost 20 young people in more than ten rounds of collaborative revision on the murals, which are on the south wall of the Triplex Cinema and the east wall of 38 Railroad Alley in Great Barrington. Sophie’s contributions to the murals received a Silver Medal on the national level.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of the nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated.  This year the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, received nearly 350,000 original works in 29 different categories of art and writing from students in grades 7 through 12.

A message of appreciation was literally posted to the wall alongside the mural. (Photo: Mike Garland, Townsquare Media)