Since the coronavirus pandemic began shuttering schools last year, parents and educators have been deeply concerned about the impact it would have on children and teenagers. 

This year, the student organizers of the Seattle-based educational nonprofit Mission InspirEd gave young people a creative outlet to explore this question through their national “Tales of Quarantine” art and writing contest. The contest drew nearly 200 submissions from across the country. Some pieces reflect what it’s like to be Asian and blamed for the outbreak. Some are metaphors for isolation, and others for resilience. 

To hear more about youth experiences during the pandemic, join The Seattle Times Education Lab and Mission InspirEd at 4 p.m. on Friday for a free, live virtual reception and conversation with some of the contest winners. Audience members will get a brief overview of the “Tales of Quarantine” 360-degree online gallery, see videos and clips of other entries and get to ask students questions about their art and thoughts about the past year. 

Students who will be live and in conversation include: Mission InspirEd student leaders Rachel Hu, Aaron Xie and Richard Yang, all seniors at Bellevue’s Newport High School; Athmika Anbarasan, a seventh grader at Quimby Oak Middle School in San Jose, California; Sydney Bottorff, also a seventh grader, from Westside School in Seattle; Kaitlyn Cook, a sophomore at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley; Ridhi Rao Gundapuneni, a seventh grader at Tyee Middle School in Bellevue; and Keaton Hare, a junior at Leland High School in San Jose, California. 

View the “Tales of Quarantine” gallery at and visit to learn more and register for the event.