Whiz Kid’s Accomplishments: Kinnaman is a finalist in the Connecticut Young Writers Competition for her prose entry "Summers." She has written numerous essays that have won awards, including the Americanism Essay Contest and the VFW Audio Essay Competition. She won an honorable mention in the competition.
“I’m really excited about all the opportunities I’ve had,” she said.
Kinnaman is also a philanthropist. She enjoys volunteering and organizing fundraisers for charity. For the past two years, she has participated in the Teens for Jeans program, collecting jeans for homeless teens.
"I wanted to be able to do something that would do a lot of good for everyone," she said.
Kinnaman recently raised money for an organization that seeks to prevent malaria in Africa and in the past, she has volunteered at the in Mystic.
“I loved getting to work with the little kids,” she said.
Kinnaman has participated in the program, and wrote a speech that she read to hundreds of children about preventing substance abuse.
Kinnaman is looking forward to a writing residency at the WordTeen creative writing camp this summer, and is currently planning a gap year before attending college.
Her lifetime goals include publishing a book and traveling to Australia.
Key to her success: “My mom—she helps me find contests to enter and gives me the encouragement I need to submit my writing,” she said.
Kinnaman said she also learned a lot from her creative writing teacher Cindy House at the Green Street Arts Center, a cooperative for home-schooled children in Middletown Connecticut.
“[Cindy House] really helped me learn how to write better,” Kinnaman said.
Best Advice: “Try a lot of different things,” Kinnaman said. “Writing is what I like to do the most, but I like to try many different activities so I have stuff to write about.”
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