Annie Salinas, this year’s Legacy Award winner for the Humanities, is a high-school senior from Houston, Texas. Annie has achieved success as a young historian by bringing to light little-known aspects of world history. By using the tools of an artist, a historian, and a cultural ambassador, she has illuminated the stories of the past across multiple continents and centuries.
Annie’s experience with National History Day began in 2008. After helping to excavate the San Sabá Mission site during the Texas Archaeological Society’s summer field school, she created an exhibit entitled The San Sabá Mission: Spanish Colonial Turning Point in Texas. Her exhibit received second place at the national competition and was displayed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
A love for the library, a childhood trip to Europe, and Annie’s success at the state level of the National Geographic Bee have each helped to fuel her strong interest in geography, culture and linguistics. Each of her National History Day projects has shared these common themes. In addition to San Sabá, her research has included an exhibit on China’s imperialism, isolationism, and brief age of exploration; a documentary on Russian culture and photography prior to the Bolshevik Revolution; an exhibit on the impact of the Polish Solidarity movement on the Communist regime in Eastern Europe; and a group exhibit with her sister on Mexico’s internal struggle for liberty and identity during the Cristero Rebellion. As a high school junior, Annie was thrilled to be awarded first place at the national level for her exhibit entitled Solidarity: From a Polish Shipyard to the Kremlin, the Diplomacy that Shaped Eastern Europe.
In addition to the study of history, Annie has an interest in many other creative pursuits. She is an accomplished pianist and an award-winning composer currently in her twelfth year of piano study. Her aptitude for music also benefited her during five years as a competitive Irish dancer. Annie is passionate about her Catholic faith and is an active member of her church as a Servant Leader, devoting much of her time to coordinating weekly activities and staffing retreats. Through youth ministry, she has had the opportunity to share her passion with teens in leadership roles.
As a lifelong home-educated student, Annie has enjoyed many opportunities to learn outside of the traditional classroom setting. She is an accomplished cook, an amateur photographer, and an avid reader. A self-proclaimed museum-addict, Annie has had the opportunity to visit many of the world’s great museums during her travels, most recently during a seven-week trip to Singapore with her family in fall 2011. Her other hobbies include exploring the culture of Eastern Europe through the arts of pysanka (Ukrainian wax-resist egg dying) and Byzantine iconography (Russian religious art).
Annie is passionate about history, philosophy, theology, art, and music, and is very enthusiastic about continuing her study of the humanities at the university level.