Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Live a Message

Name: Daniel Nava
From: East Palo Alto, CA
Grade: Junior/College
School: California College of the Arts
Votes: 0

a Message

chose to be a part of an after school youth program focused on art
and its impact on the community. A teacher chose this program for me
because she has seen me draw before and thought that I might like it.
Eventually I would end up loving the program and go there five days a
week. In a year I did more than 150 hours with this program, and I
started going as a freshman and ended couple years after high school.
I spent a good amount of time there.

tasks were to study current events in our community to design and
produce a painted mural that would represent a positive and
educational message. This part of the process had us talking to
government, non-profit organizations, and our locals in our
community. I got to know the great people that lived in our
community, which inspired the imagery created on our mural we would
later paint on our local schools. I would get teachers and students
involved to volunteer, to help our program paint these murals, by
teaching drawing and painting techniques.

role as a youth muralist was to help produce this large scale mural
by teaching paint technique and drawing instruction. I would
literally be painting the mural till finished. The most satisfying
part of the mural painting was at the end. The finished project is
always worth it. All those hours our team put in to spread awareness
and love to our community brought a huge wave of people, who would
celebrate our success with us with music and food.

I took from all of this was consistency and commitment. It took 3 –
4 months to finish these murals, and I would not want to be there the
whole time, but I did. It made every moment of giving up worth it at
the end, because I was a part of something big. The connection and
relationship I made with my community is priceless, and seen how
impactful the program was our youth. Creating bonds with my community
was not part of the plan, I just wanted to draw, but I don’t regret
the choice of joining the team.

my future goals I plan on using my art to solve real world problems.
I am into building and art. A focus in Industrial design and
computers. The process skills I learned from these projects will be
used in these disciplines to create solutions for these real world
problems. It connects perfectly because the processes are similar.
Looking forward I see the importance on not just creating solutions
to solve problems but also breaking barriers for future generations
to follow. Giving the future a place to advance where we left off.

I seek for the future is equity in educational programs, healthy
food, and opportunities for our world. Doing this kind of work really
help me understand what an underserved community was and how it
effects communities and those alike. If I were to go back in the
future, I believe my volunteer work would of made a huge impact,
because it impacted me, and it only takes one person to make a
difference, even if the community has changed.

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