Looks Bright Youth Spotlight: Vivian Cases places 2nd at National Beta Competition

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

LOUISVILLE — East St. John High School rising sophomore Vivian Cases secured an impressive second place finish in the color photography competition at the 2023 National Beta Convention held June 17-20 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Vivian’s entry showed off her exceptional macro photography skills, captivating judges with a detailed close-up of a cactus from the City Park Botanical Garden. Cases was the only East St. John Wildcat to make the trip to Nationals this year alongside her mother, Beta Club sponsor Susan Cases, after placing first in the photography competition at the state level.

Approximately 50 color photography entries were displayed in a gallery format for judging. The top 10 was announced first, followed by the top five. Vivian’s face lit up once she realized she had placed second among talented students from across the country.

Vivian’s interest in photography began in her publications class, where she was tasked with capturing photojournalistic style pictures of students and campus events.

“That really made me want to get more into photography. I was using my mom’s camera. For Christmas, I asked for a camera so I could do more on my own,” Vivian said. “I most enjoy taking pictures of flowers and nature. We have a golf course in the backyard, and I like taking pictures of the trees, the pond and the ducks.”

This year marked Vivian’s second time showcasing her artwork at the National Beta Convention. She previously advanced to Nationals in fifth grade, one year prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first year I’ve been able to take kids back to the Beta convention since COVID,” her mother said.

According to Susan Cases, East St. John is typically well represented in the art competitions at the national level. Two students who have since graduated earned the school a series of national awards in woodworking and sculpture.

Vivian enjoyed traveling to Louisville this year, especially when it was time to explore the museums in the city. She also found inspiration among winning entries in the other art divisions, observing techniques she can implement into her own drawings and paintings.

Vivian’s involvement at East St. John extends beyond Beta. Through Interact Club, she has participated in community food distributions at New Wine Christian Fellowship and assisted in bringing bingo to residents of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve. Vivian and other members of East St. John’s Interact Club also assisted in Hurricane Ida relief efforts by gutting homes and clearing backyard debris on the one-year anniversary of the storm.

Vivian is also a member of her school’s Robotics Club. In addition to learning how to construct robots, she has worked with drones and had an opportunity to present those skills at a STEM Day hosted at East St. John Prep.

While Vivian is self-motivated, part of her drive to succeed academically comes from good-natured competition with her peers. She is a consistent principal’s list and honor roll student, and she earned an impressive 29 composite score on the ACT as a freshman.

After high school, Vivian would like to study medicine at Tulane or LSU with a goal of becoming a pediatrician. She looks up to Dr. Nicole Jones at Rainbow Pediatrics (LCMC Health) in LaPlace as a role model.

“I know I want to study medicine so I can be a doctor. My pediatrician really inspires me because of how much she loves her job and how good she is at it,” Vivian said.


Do you know a young person making an impact inside or outside of the classroom? Nominate the next Looks Bright student profile by emailing brooke.robichaux@lobservateur.com