You know that amazing feeling you get when you stumble across something wonderful and exciting that's been around for a while but you knew nothing about? And the relieved sense of encouragement you're left with; knowing that other people care about what you care about, and are doing something about it... That pretty much describes my day with PubliColor.
With Humberto- my painting buddy. He's an 11th grade student and new to the PubliColor program.
How to describe PubliColor... Hmm... Scouting-meets-afterschool program-meets- community enrichment- meets- public space beautification- meets- summer camp-meets-job training-meets-mentor program-meets-youth employment corps...ish...
With some of the Paint Club members.
From their website: "We are a founder-run, not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1996 with one mission: We use color, collaboration, design and the painting process to re-engage students in their education, schools and communities; to ultimately transform them into productive members of our workforce."
With a Paint Club member who's also involved in pageants!
PubliColor revitalizes drab and institutional-looking schools (seriously- have you ever been inside a NYC public school?) with vibrant colors and designs, believing that students learn better in a more beautiful environment (I tend to agree). But the painters themselves are students, some of whom receive a stipend, and many of whom will receive mentoring, job training, afterschool and summer programming, and financial aid for school. "From paint can to college..."
The colors were AWESOME!
The students were amazing, without exception- wonderful kids with a wonderful opportunity, who demonstrated commendable levels of professionalism and were very serious about the work they were doing. Both the staff and student's enthusiasm for the program were evident, along with the excitement from Leslie, the NY Cares project leader for PubliColor, who had worked with the project for a while and passionately sang it's praises. I look forward to staying in touch with my new friends from PubliColor, and hope to join them again soon!