by Noa Stroop, volunteer
On a warm Tuesday afternoon, Christian sat taping his knuckles for boxing practice. At 11 years old, he likes playing football, walking around the neighborhood, and playing computer games. And like many boys his age, Christian just wasn’t big on poetry.
After hearing how much fun the art of expression was from buzz at school, Christian, always open-minded, started attending Art from Ashes workshops in November of 2015. What he was looking for was undetermined, but what he found was connection. He walked in the door and immediately began making friends, some of whom attended his school, unbeknownst to him at the time. He began using pen and paper to understand the value of expression, explaining “It help get rid of the bad vibes!” And according to his mom, the workshops also improved his social skills tremendously.
But the most significant of the values Christian has learned from AfA is, as he explains, “All kids’ lives are different, but we are all raw equals.” That’s a pretty perceptive statement for an 11-year-old. Or anyone, for that matter!
Not only has AfA inspired a new appreciation for fine arts in the young athlete, these workshops have opened Christian’s eyes to a concept that youth and adults seem to struggle with: We are all human. We are all different. Yet, we have more in common than we know.