Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Art and Community

Name: Rebeca Posadas-Nava
From: Fairfax, Virginia
Grade: 12
School: W.T. Woodson HS
Votes: 412

I have chosen to volunteer in promoting the arts within my community
because of the impact that art has had in my personal life. During
high school, my family life was in chaos as my father left the family
and my mother dealt with immigration issues.
gave me a feeling of control while my home life was in turmoil. I
found a different way to engage with my surroundings.
chose to volunteer in the arts because I have experience with the
profound impact that the arts have to create an engaged and
culturally rich community.

The City of Fairfax Theatre company is a growing community program that
produces up to three shows a year and runs multiple theatre camps. I
began working with them freshman year when they were only producing
one show a year. I have volunteered for five shows, two summer camps,
and a few weekend camps. I spend between ten and fifteen hours on
each show, four hours in the summer camps, and one hour for the
weekend camps. In total, I work around twenty hours a year with the
City of Fairfax Theatre Company. As the program’s photographer my
responsibilities include
cast members, rehearsals, shooting promotional videos, and shooting

My greatest challenge has also been the most satisfying and meaningful
part of being a volunteer. The interaction that I have between cast
members in the moments that I take their head shot are difficult,
because even as actors people are self conscious about their image.
Being sensitive, friendly, and confident as I direct each individual
cast member can become a challenge when I am photographing fifty
different people in one day. However, I feel satisfied when an actor
is surprised to find that they like themselves in the image I took. I
have learned the importance of being present and giving individuals
undivided attention to create images that are meaningful to the actor
and to the community that enjoys the actor’s performance.  

I want to fuse my passion for science and art, because I believe these
two disciplines are interconnected. My volunteer focus is in
alignment with my career goals because for both I want to use
photography and art to make a difference and communicate ideas. Just
as in my volunteer work my images are a bridge between the community
and theatre, in the future I want my images to be a bridge for
scientific discovery.  
I see my activities as forward thinking because any investment in the
arts is forward thinking by nature. The arts provide a platform to
exchange ideas and for people to understand each other. Furthermore,
the power of community service is that what makes a difference are
all of the individuals, who in this case have come together to
promote theatre in my community. It is a collaboration of people who
share a similar vision for the arts as me, that ultimately results in
the flourishing of a bridging the community through the arts.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".