Growing up in the inner city of East Cleveland, Ohio, I was considered an at-risk youth. I faced a lot of challenges and stumbling blocks along the way. I was always a creative kid with a big imagination, but something was missing. I always yearned for help from a mentor or an advisor to encourage my creative tenacity.
Prior to the completion of high school, I really didn’t have an outlook on plans post-high school, but I was sure I didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of some of the kids in my neighborhood who had fallen to a lifestyle consumed of drugs, and crime. After visiting a local university, I was motivated to apply; I got accepted to Akron University, and graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 1997.
Upon graduation, I began my career as a graphic designer in the corporate field in which I remained for 9 years. I always felt incomplete. There I was, pursuing my career in the field of graphic design, but there was no passion!
In 2014, I started working for The Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland as an Art Instructor. BGCC changed my life, literally. My second day at work, my car was stolen by a kid from the club, but I didn’t lose hope. I wanted to reach out to the kids who were maybe living in single-parent homes, or living in an environment of drug, or alcohol abuse, poverty, and most of all, education disparity. Many kids in our society need more than a mother, and father; they need a community. I’m a part of that community.
After 7 months as an art instructor, I really wanted to expose the kids to something they didn’t know existed. I presented the idea of providing graphic design classes, and began traveling to various club locations as a consultant. Using iMacs, the kids began learning about the latest design technology such as Adobe Creative Cloud, photography, and video editing. I influenced the children, ages 9-19, to realize their ability to transform the world through design; to imagine new possibilities. I help point children in the right direction by using graphic design. Teaching children has become my ultimate passion. I’ve become their mentor.
KEYNOTE SPEAKING | WORKSHOPS | Q&A
Leading At Risk Youth into becoming Creative Thinkers
- Inspire them to explore their creative flair
- Inform them on how to access information
- Guide them in building the confidence to take risks
At-Risk Youth: Increasing Their Worth It Factor
- Lead them to understand that a failed objective doesn’t mean failure
- Assist them in increasing their speed and quality of work
- Encouraged to exceed their own ideas
Attaining Knowledge, Entrepreneurship Now
- Teach them how to develop business sense
- Advance their comprehension of technical
#CREATIVEKIDS | ART EDUCATION | MENTORING | ONE ON ONE TRAINING
The projects of this course develops skills that lay the foundation for photography and producing print-ready communications: graphic design principles, visual comps, illustration, print production development, shared project management skills such as interviewing and project scheduling, peer review, and redesign.
The key skills emphasized in this course:
• Soft skills such as interviewing and responding to feedback
• Designing for a variety of audiences and needs
• Problem solving that helps support multiple perspectives
• Illustration and drawing
• Page layout
• The design process and effective communication
• Peer teaching and evaluation in a collaborative environment
• Technical image manipulation and print publishing skills