Student stands next to a statue of a large cowboy hat.

Cassia Clark grew up challenging herself to learn and create. Born in Chicago and raised in Mississippi, she couldn’t wait to return to her beloved Chicago. Recently, she had the opportunity to share one of her creations with the city—and thousands of visitors—at the NASCAR Chicago Street Race.

A self-taught digital artist, Cassia knew she needed to keep striving to be a better digital artist in such a competitive field, so when she heard that Kennedy-King College offered an Advanced Communication Design Certificate, she registered for the program.

“I love to make beautiful things and share them with the world,” said Cassia.

Statue of a large cowboy hat.
Cassia Clark’s winning design on display during the NASCAR Street Race.

Cassia recently shared one of her beautiful designs with the world by winning a digital art contest—NASCAR King’s Hat Design Challenge. Her design was featured on The King’s Hat Statue, located in Grant Park, during the NASCAR Chicago Street Race held July 6 and 7.

“I heard about the contest from my professor, Gail Mitchell. I loved the vibe and criteria so I entered the contest. When I heard I won, I was ecstatic and honored,” said Cassia.

The giant hat was displayed in Butler Field, and it represented iconic Chicago symbols, like the skyline, “the Bean,” Navy Pier, and the Chicago flag.

“Getting my name out there is critical, and I think showcasing my work this way will help me get my foot in the door. I’m thankful to my professor for letting me know about the contest and to Kennedy-King College for giving me this opportunity. I would definitely recommend this class and Kennedy-King College to other people,” Cassia said.

Already building an impressive resume, Cassia plans to finish her certification in digital art from Kennedy-King College in May 2025.