1. HOW HAS YOUR OVERALL EXPERIENCE BEEN VOLUNTEERING FOR DRAWCHANGE?
My overall experience volunteering with drawchange has been wonderful. The environment is positive and heightened when I am surrounded by volunteers that see and live the vision of drawchange. When people ask me what I do, my first response is that I volunteer with drawchange because that is what I am the happiest to brag about.
2. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO LEAD YOUR VERY OWN PROGRAM?
When I first volunteered for drawchange, the program had just started and the community was not too aware about our presence. Once word got out, more and more children started to attend drawchange sessions, even standing outside the door waiting patiently to come in. I saw the benefits drawchange brought to these children’s lives and I really wanted to see the program in more areas. The program coordinators saw and believed in my potential and basically told me to get out there and find us another spot!
3. CAN YOU TELL US OF AN EXPERIENCE YOU HAD WITH A CHILD THAT TOUCHED YOU?
There have been many moments that have touched me but there is one in particular that stands out. We were creating “Strength Shields” and one boy drew himself carrying groceries from the car to the house. His strength was helping his mother because she couldn’t carry heavy things. This resonates with me because growing up I would do the same for my mom. He could not wait to show off his shield, especially to his mom when it was complete. Carrying heavy bags is not only using physical strength, but it’s having the strength to be mindful of what others need. He understood that connection and helping his mom was his ultimate strength.
4. PLEASE SHARE A “DRAWCHANGE SUCCESS STORY” YOU’VE WITNESSED WITH A CHILD OR CHILDREN.
One success story that immediately comes to mind is about a young girl who found her voice in drawchange. It started on a particular day she was having a rough day and asked to work alone. I wanted to spend a little extra time with her but none of the questions I was asking seemed to interest her, until I noticed her nail polish and I asked about it. Her face lit up! She told me about getting her nails done earlier and then progressed to drawing a cash register and being the boss of her very own nail salon! We had a great time together for the rest of the session! I noticed her self-esteem increase week after week. Our program being there every week gives the children something positive, challenging, and fun to look forward to. It’s rewarding to see what the children will think of next.
5. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU WITH DRAWCHANGE? WHAT ROLE(S) DO YOU SEE YOURSELF CONTINUING TO STEPPING INTO?
The next steps would be to continue as a Lead Program Coordinator and find more shelters to help grow the program. I want to continue my education and become an Art Therapist and hope to help drawchange with my services. I want drawchange to be a permanent part of life journey because I believe in the mission and it’s values.
If you are interested in running a drawchange program in your community, contact us about the drawchange Blueprint today!