Oakland, CA, June 26, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- Twelve artists who began as students in The Crucible’s Youth Programs will teach in 2017 Youth Summer Camps, which kicked off this week. For seven of them – Adrian Rodriguez, Ale’ah Bashir-Baaqee, Crystal Carillo, Jazzy Schwinges-Williams, Katia Navidad Rallon, Maliq Nathaniel, and Trevi Pendro – this will be their first year teaching as regular faculty. These new instructors join Robert Collins, the first Crucible Youth Program student to become a lead instructor, and four youth students – Abdollah Hamdan, JR Williams, Kobe Schwinges-Williams, and Pablo Valdez – working as teaching assistants.
The majority of these new instructors were able to take classes at The Crucible, an Oakland arts education nonprofit, because of the scholarship opportunities made possible by donations. Each year, The Crucible distributes more than $120,000 in scholarships and free programming to Bay Area youth and public schools, reserving up to 20% of class slots for need-based scholarship students.
“It is really something special to see these kids go through the Youth Programs and go onto young adulthood excited to stay a part of this community,” says Ismael Plasencia, our Youth Program Associate for the last decade. “The fact that we can provide opportunities for them to step into leadership and teaching roles really brings the whole program full circle.”
The doors The Crucible opened up have been life-changing, explains Maliq Nathaniel, who took six Crucible classes on scholarship and participated in the Fuego Youth Leadership program and Pre-Apprentice Program. Now, he strives to empower his students to grab onto as many opportunities that come their way. “In life there are only so many opportunities you get,” he explains, “And this is by far the best one that came past me.”
Like Maliq, when Jazzy Schwinges-Williams first started taking classes at age 12, she never envisioned herself one day joining The Crucible’s faculty. “At that point in time, I think I still wanted to be a detective on a TV show,” she laughs. But Jazzy went on to take twelve classes on scholarship, joined the Fuego Youth Leadership Program, and became a Pre-Apprentice. Then, she says, “I got inspired by the teachers around me, how they made me feel, and the impact I saw them have on other students.” Now, Jazzy is a lead instructor in The Crucible’s Welding Department.
Robert Collins, a fellow welding instructor, grew up down the street from The Crucible, started taking classes when he was 12 years old, and was in the first year of both the Fuego Youth Leadership Program and the Pre-Apprentice Program. “Five or six years ago, I wasn’t even able to make eye contact or speak with people,” Robert says. “Now I am constantly explaining things, because fortunately I was put in an environment where I could grow.” Two years into his teaching career, Robert is at home inspiring local youth to explore their creativity and take artistic risks.
With four other youth students working as teaching assistants, “We’ve got kids coming through our programs who are on the verge of taking on new responsibilities,” Ismael explains. “These instructors are creating the pathway for everybody else that follows. The sky is limit.”
Read more about the seven new instructors at: TheCrucible.org/youth-programs-students-take-torch/.
About The Crucible
The Crucible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts education organization that fosters a collaboration of arts, industry, and community. Through hands-on training in the fine and industrial arts, The Crucible promotes creative exploration and expression, reuse of materials, and innovative design. As an accessible arts venue for the Bay Area, The Crucible is a catalyst for individual growth and vibrant community connections. Known for one-of-a-kind industrial arts education programs, The Crucible is also highly regarded for its innovative performances and events.