Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hey, Hi, Hola Otra Vez

H e l l o  A g a i n !

I am SO SO SO SO SO happy to begin another year with ALEC.

For those of you whom I haven't met, my name is Ms. Christa, I am a returning AmeriCorps member originally from Pittsburgh by way of San Francisco. My return to Pennsylvania was met with many bumps in the road, and left with many questions. Specifically "What am I doing back here?". I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography and Illustration from the San Francisco Art Institute and for a while, was working as a lifestyle and portrait photographer. As much as I love art, I wasn't feeling as though I was contributing and my talents were seeking a calling to do more. Joining AmeriCorps was probably one of the most fulfilling decisions I've made.

Thanks to Allentown being such a welcoming community, I've had the chance to foster and grow so many valued relationships among the youth, other educators and neighborhood organizations that are just as dedicated to seeing the youth succeed and become empowered and the motivation has been contagious.

Beyond mentoring and tutoring the youth that attend ALEC, I also facilitate lessons based on art, mindfulness, empathy, and community awareness. I've had a very blessed opportunity to nurture my educational experience with a new age group which has come with many challenges complete with many milestones achieved. Last year I contributed my background in the arts to developing a Personal Projects course (the students study an independent subject, research, create and present their work), A Mindfulness and Meditation unit as well as a Documentary/Street Photography course. 

When I'm not hanging out with the awesome youth from ALEC, I'm extending my serving to other communities. Art has a way of connecting everyone, if you can make marks on paper, you can find a common connection with just about anyone over anything. 

I am so ready to meet our new youth as well as continue mentoring our returning Brashear Kids. Earning the trust of these kids has been one of the more impacting experiences I've had during my time with AmeriCorps. I am always learning something new from them, and them from me. 

M s.  C h r i s t a 



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