My name is Cassandra Cunningham. I attend Alexander Mackenzie High School, and am in their International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Art is my outlet for self-expression. Throughout my life I always had some sort of artistic interest, whether it was sewing, making jewelry, or just creating things with any material I could find. As I got older and started to become more advanced in my art skills, I experienced a drastic change in my life. I had trouble socializing, making friends, and having confidence. I did not know how to express this to anyone, so I did using art. As I saw my art skills and mental health improve, I realized the role art played in my life. Art has inspired me to use creativity and strength to overcome any challenge I face. It lets me express how I feel when I am unable to use words. Art has taught me there is something out there for everyone, and that no two people are the same. It has taught me not to take anything at face value, and instead look for hidden meaning. It has shown me there are a million ways to represent concepts and ideas, and your unique sense of interpretation is not only valuable, but it is necessary. Most of all, art has shown me how boring and underdeveloped the world would be without it. For these reasons, I consider art to be my passion and would like to pursue it as a full-time career.