TAMPA (FOX 13) - Passion and a creative mind is the winning combination for a student who is close to realizing his dream.
The 17-year-old Gibbs High School graduate is one of 16 students selected to receive a scholarship through the 95th Annual Scholastic Art and Writing awards.
"It's really nice to be part of something like that, something so big," said Chris Velez. "It's just like, 'Wow, that's pretty crazy.'"
The non-profit organization has been around for 95 years. It is the nation's longest scholarship award program for creative teens.
"I started doing art in middle school and started creating just because my teacher pushed me to do it," Chris said.
He created small-scale art pieces using cardboard and popsicle sticks.
"When you are thinking about something for a while you start to come up with more ideas and it starts to get deeper and deeper and its like, 'Oh. That would be a cool thing to create,'" Chris explained
He is using his creativity to help build his life for the future. Chris won a $10,000 scholarship and plans to attend Kansas City Art Institute in the fall.