St. Mary’s Academy junior Laura Phillips
St. Mary’s Academy junior Laura Phillips

St. Mary’s Academy junior Laura Phillips was awarded a full scholarship to a Telluride Association summer seminar at Indiana University. She was one of 36 students from across the country selected from a large pool of applicants to participate in this year’s program, which combined African American and film studies.

The six-week, college-level seminar, titled “Race Films in a ‘Post-Race America?’ Film Studies and Critical Spectatorship,” concludes Aug. 3. 

Phillips, a 16-year-old Portland resident, looks forward to bringing home what she learns this summer.

”The history of African Americans is not only important to the construction of our society, but also to the foundation of my life as a young black woman," Phillips said. 

She anticipated the Telluride seminar helping her define her understanding of her ancestry and history, as well as her understanding of herself.

"I hope that . . . next school year, I will be able to inspire my peers to break down the barriers set up by our society, and help us all to embrace the non-stereotypical aspects of the African American culture,” said Phillips.