Rachel Icolari, 18, a long-time Art from Ashes workshop participant, facilitator-in-training, and youth representative to the agency’s board of directors, was presented the 2017 Mayor’s Youth Award on March 17. Each year, the City of Denver asks individuals in the community to submit nominations for the award. AfA staff and board members were eager to nominate Rachel, an amazing youth who discovered AfA while in residential treatment. Rachel regularly attends the Wednesday drop-in workshops at AfA’s location in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and helps facilitate the First Friday workshops.
“Art from Ashes has completely changed my life,” Rachel says. “I was thinking of dropping out of school, but after I started going to the workshops every week, I decided that wasn’t a good idea because I was shown that I have a future.” Rachel no longer wants to drop out of school after experiencing connection, expression, and transformation at AfA. Instead, Rachel says “I am going to college after I graduate and will be majoring in special education with a minor in creative writing.”
Rachel met the Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock during the awards ceremony and was recognized for numerous personal achievements. Way to go, Rachel!
Watch the Video! (at 43:06)