Dreaming in Art
Local Artist Helps a Youth Dream Big About Her Future
Some youth know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Maybe they’ve had the same dream since they were a child or the profession runs in the family. But for many youth, determining what they want to do, who they want to be, and how to reach those goals can be confusing and uncertain.
We work with a youth who was asking herself these questions and striving to make a better life for her and her young son. This youth has a passion for art, but wasn’t sure how to turn that passion into a career. Ms. Clayton (our youth’s amazing English teacher) and Together We Thrive went to work looking for an opportunity for her to learn more about careers in the art industry and, wow, did our community deliver!
Chelsey Rogers, owner of ColorHype, was connected with Together We Thrive and offered our youth with a very special opportunity to come work with her for a day to see a multifaceted art business in action. Last week, Chelsey, former art teacher now entrepreneur, opened up her studio for a few hours of hands on learning. Through ColorHype, Chelsey hosts public, private, and virtual events, sells amazing do-it-yourself art kits, and commissions custom paintings and murals.
Chelsey discussed the ins and outs of running a small business, the different opportunities that exist in the art industry, and about chasing your dreams. “I love to tell my kids, you can start from anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you’re at. You can start today honing in on a skill, practice it every day, and eventually you’ll get to the point where you are good at that skill,” she shared.
In addition to the encouragement, our youth got hands on experience in fulfilling orders for custom art kits. Chelsey graciously gifted our youth a few kits to take home for practice.
Our youth said, “This experience means a lot to me because I’ve never met anyone who makes art and has a business out of it. I know now that even if you don’t have a good story, you can still make it and have a successful business.”
Ms. Clayton went on to share that, “An experience like this can be life changing because lots of time, my students, in their home environment, don’t get a lot of enrichment opportunities like this. So experiences like this validate the things that we’re teaching them in school. When they are given this type of opportunity, a light bulb goes off and they think “oh, I can do this!”
When we asked Ms. Clayton to share more about her students, she said that “all children deserve the right to receive a quality education, despite the choices that they’ve made or the situation they find themselves in. For our students who are teen moms or are currently expecting, I don’t think that the community should judge them, but support and pour into them – so that they can continue to grow, thrive and be all that they can be – just like any other teen who has hopes and aspirations.”
As we wrapped up this special day, we asked our youth, Ms. Clayton, and Chelsey to share some of their thoughts from their time together. “I am grateful for my teacher who made this happen, I love her so much. She has sacrificed a lot for me. I love Together We Thrive, you help us so much.” our youth shared. “Today has given me the opportunity to see that I can become more than just a mom. I can become a business woman and sell art. I never knew you could sell art like this. It makes my mind expand with new opportunities,” she continued.
Chelsey was also motivated by our time together. She shared “I love this opportunity and it has inspired me to do more of it. I love the idea of showing kids what could be. This might not be their path, but one piece of it might inspire them. Giving them the opportunity to see it one-on-one, and up close is super valuable to give youth a vision that they might not see right now.”
Ms. Clayton told us that “Together We Thrive is an extension of the love, care and support” that the teachers provide at school. We are so grateful to play such that type of role in the lives of youth. We are beyond thankful for our community for connecting the dots and helping make such a special day come true. We are so grateful for Chelsey and her willingness to open her business to encourage a young mom! This youth left with the motivation to reach for her dreams, thanks to you!