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HFA: SCS 8th Grader Naomi Cook Wins of 2013 Skillman Foundation Float Design Competition

posted Nov 18, 2013, 4:07 PM by Lisa Kreinbring   [ updated Jan 21, 2014, 12:44 PM by ]

For three years, HFA: SCS student Naomi Cook pursued a dream: to have her winning design brought to life in America’s Thanksgiving Parade. 

Thirteen year-old Naomi -- a previous Runner Up (2012) and Honorable Mention (2011) recipient -- was determined to take the top honor this year. For her 2013 entry she found inspiration in Detroit’s urban farms, asked a float designer for technical pointers, and applied her intensive HFA: SCS art and design preparation. As in past years, she was also encouraged every step of the way by HFA: SCS art instructor Manal Kadry, who has provided feedback and support.

That determination and hard work paid off. Naomi’s first place design “Michigan Farms on City Streets” was recently selected from hundreds of entries. A Detroit resident and the daughter of two chefs, Naomi says that she has grown up on fruits and vegetables and wonders “what it would be like if people could go outside and grab whatever food they want.” Today, surrounded her caring mentor, principal, parents, and grandparents, Naomi was honored at The Parade Company’s press conference and saw “her float” for the first time on November 18th; on November 28th, she will escort it down the parade route in America’s Thanksgiving Parade. 

Naomi has been drawing since age three. Her next project honors Ruby Bridges and will be submitted to the McDonald’s Celebrates Black History on Canvas competition. Naomi plans to attend HFA: SCS for high school because “she wouldn’t have the same opportunities at other schools.” Her longer-term goals are to graduate from the College for Creative Studies and become a graphic designer. 

Watch for news of Naomi’s accomplishment: WDIV Channel 4 is the event media partner providing live parade coverage. In addition to WDIV, she has been interviewed by WXYZ Channel 7, the Detroit Free Press, and Yak’s Corner.