Every person has a story. This is mine.
As one of three children born to an absent father and a mother with a drug addiction, my early childhood was spent in poverty and upheaval. Relegated to the foster care system, my sister, brother, and I were separated and sent to different homes. Those years were hard. I struggled to find a place I fit in, people who cared for me, and a way to express my feelings.
When I was ten years old, a wonderful woman committed to loving my sister and me for a lifetime by adopting us. With five children, my adoptive mother enlisted a village of truly caring and thoughtful adults to help meet our unique needs and interests. Suddenly, I was surrounded by mentors and tutors who cared about my success. I participated in extracurricular programming at the Boys & Girls Club and developed a social network. I shared my thoughts through poetry and using dance to express feelings that had been suppressed.
The arts were liberating, providing an outlet for all that had happened in my life. Through the arts I was able to become someone other than a scared and insecure little girl; I was a courageous, confident, and brave young woman. The arts allowed me to step outside of who I was to see what I could become. These experiences nurtured and shaped my future. They helped me form meaningful relationships, cultivate discipline, overcome fear, manage time, build a strong work ethic, and tap into the creativity I held within. They taught me how to be a part of something greater than myself.
I am living proof that circumstances can help define character, but they do not have to break you. With the foundation provided by my early experiences, I began to rebuild relationships with my biological family and went on to earn my master’s degree, hold leadership positions in education and youth development organizations, and co-found TheGifted Arts.
TheGifted Arts is a product of my history. This organization is my counter-response to what society and statistics told me my future was supposed to be. TheGifted Arts is a place that empowers youth to tap into their purpose and potential. It is a place where students develop confidence and are inspired to succeed. It is a place built on relationships and the spirit of belonging.
This year I was honored to be recognized in the United Way of the Greater Triangle’s “10 to Watch.” This recognition was accompanied by a two-year grant of $25,000 for TheGifted Arts. While this funding will allow us to assist many students, TheGifted Arts needs your support to match this gift to sustain and grow our programs.
Please make a tax-deductible donation to TheGifted Arts to ensure children in the Triangle have the same opportunities I was fortunate to receive.
Thank you in advance for your support. If you have any questions about TheGifted Arts, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your monthly gift of $60 will allow a student to attend GiftedAcademy for a full year! To learn more, visit our website at www.thegiftedarts.org.