BROOKSVILLE — Parrott Middle School eighth-grader Malcolm Dumaine, 14, was shot in his left eye from a slingshot when he was 4 years old. His right eye has sight, but lacks depth perception.
He is a good student and loves to draw.
Malcolm's talent recently won him first place in the 14- to 18-year-old category in the Florida Department of Children and Families' 2008 Dependency Summit Drawing Contest.
He was eligible because he is a foster child who is in the process of being adopted by his foster parent, David Bearden.
Bearden, 51, has three other foster children and is also visually impaired. He uses a service dog. The theme of the contest was to draw a hero. Malcolm wanted to draw Bearden, but Bearden had another suggestion.
"He asked me if he could draw me, and I said, 'no.' You're the hero,' " Bearden said.
"I just made up a picture out of my head," Malcolm said.
He drew a picture of himself in a field with a bubble over his head, which contained the words: "My foster father said I was the hero."
Malcolm received $100 worth of art supplies, including a sketch pad, charcoal pencils, colored pencils and fine-tipped markers.
He has received other art awards, too. The Hernando County Arts Council gave him $50, which he used to buy watercolors, watercolor paper, calligraphy pens and a how-to drawing book.
He has also received a $50 scholarship from the Pasco/Hernando chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.
Malcolm recently received another award, which was unrelated to art. It was the National Federation of the Blind Youth Service Award.
Malcolm performs youth services with the federation in Hernando County. He hands out Braille cards at the Veterans Day and Christmas parades. He also helps with road cleanups and goes to Tallahassee to lobby for the blind.
Malcolm draws whenever he can, preferring pencil, charcoal and pen.
"I just like the way it looks. I like the shading and stuff," he said.
He said he hopes to go to college and would like a career in art.