Meet one of our favorite artists, Vanida. Listen to her reflections about how YES has made a difference in her life.
If it wasn’t for the YES Foundation, I don’t know where I would be right now. The people I’ve met here have influenced my life so much. I get to be surrounded by kind people who don’t judge me. YES helps youth get away from negative activities such as drugs, and violence. I remember when I was younger, I felt like I was an outcast. I was the quiet kid who sat in the back of the classroom and the “cool” kids at school were the ones who were involved with gangs. I didn’t have many friends and I felt alone. When I got involved with YES, I was welcomed. It is ok to be an outcast because that’s what makes people unique rather than trying to be like everyone else. I made a lot of great friends and the people who work here have helped me out a lot.
YES provided me with a program called AIGA Link. I am very passionate about art and this program helped me explore other kinds of art styles besides drawing in a sketchbook. The workshop takes place on the third Saturday of each month. We get to try out print making, painting on a canvas, photography and many more. Link also offers scholarships for high school seniors and there is a gallery show that they host so students can display all of the work they have made in the workshops throughout the year. I don’t think I would have access to Link if it wasn’t for the YES Foundation.
Also, the YES Foundation helped me with my education. Although I didn’t graduate on time, they helped motivate me and kept me on track. I don’t know if I wouldn’t have been able to finish my senior project without their support. My project was to make murals on the lockers at the Arts and Academics Academy HS. My field expert is a great artist named Terry Marks. If it wasn’t for him, and Donna, a woman who helped me get paint for the mural, and my volunteers, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make these beautiful murals. I’m thankful for the YES Foundation for connecting me to great resources.