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March 9, 2011

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March 9, 2011

I had come to Miami with a group of students from Rollins College on an Alternative Spring Break trip. Miami would serve as a microcosm in which to study immigration and the human effect of it. During our first two days we were in Homestead learning about the rural migrant community and their lives working in the field. After which we began our service with Art Studio Inc. Located in the heart of Little Haiti, an impoverished community located in Miami, yet rich in culture and tradition, the students that we got to work with had quite a bit to share about their experiences and some of the stories that we heard were heartbreaking, yet they were a testament to their strength. Despite their home situations, the students were eager to participate in the projects arranged by the teachers of Art Studio Inc. and appreciative of the volunteers who had given them the attention that you could see that they had so desperately desired, but which was often not provided to them at home or in school. Whereas some may have viewed these kids as "hopeless," working with them helped me find hope in each and every one of them through their wit and character. This organization, is so necessary; with funding for the arts becoming harder to come acroos in public schools, these children are being deprived of a unique medium through which to explore their ideas. The arts foster creative and critical thinking, expression, as well as breaking through established barriers of class grade, language, and culture. Overall a phenomenal experience, there should be more organizations like this throughout the country!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I'd like to think of my volunteering experience in terms of what did I give, rather than what I got. However, through working with these children I can say that I was inspired in the sense that it reaffirmed my purpose. Most of my college career I have been planning to leave Florida upon graduation; however, this experience has showed me that instead of looking elsewhere for happiness, my community needed me and I am now exactly where I need to be. Through working with the children I felt needed.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Tell more people about this amazing organization!

March 9, 2011

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March 9, 2011

I am a student a Rollins College in central Florida. I came to Art Studio with 12 other volunteers and I can speak for every single one of us when I say that our experience was eye-opening and inspirational. There are so many different words and emotions that I wish to express to describe this experience but I will only say a few; Our experience was a one-on-one tutoring with the kids who were in the process of executing a play. Within the first 10 minutes, as the children innocently blurted out their home lives, we were able to catch a glimpse of the harsh lives of these kids.
A few of the volunteers admitted they were desperately trying to hold back their tears for these kids but they knew that must to continue to help.
When the day was through and we volunteers had a moment to reflect our experience, this is what we had to say:
we have fear, fear that these kids will go to bed beaten, defeated and with no hope for the future. Afraid that they will give up on themselves because everyone else has and they will not have the opportunity to attend college.
Hope. Hope that with the help of more volunteers and kind souls that these kids will hear about hope and have the courage to follow it.
Respect. Resect for the women who we watched restlessly keep up with these kids and treat them as if they were their own. These women who can do this for hours and days while we the volunteers could barely keep up for an hour.
Purpose. Finding our purpose again as to why we came on this trip and why we have a passion to help these children. These kids opened our eyes and helped us remember why we continue in school, in life, with hope, and with courage to finish school and to come back to help these children.
I will never forget this experience and neither will the rest of the volunteers. Art studio I thank you for your dedication, your committment, and your love and passion for this work. Thank you.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my entire time here.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

bring more volunteers

March 9, 2011

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March 9, 2011

I came to Miami with a group of students from Rollins College to learn more about immigration in the area. We started off in Homestead, working with the farmworkers association. We then came to Miami to work with Art Studio Inc. We've been working one on one with these children and it's been a great opportunity to get to know each and every one of them on an individual level. These children presumably do not get enough attention and at times, do not feel loved. We, as a group, provided those for the Art Studio class. These children need stability in their lives, since they are not getting much elsewhere whether because of family or political or financial reasons. The two days we've been working with the children we were able to provide some love and some stability. I just hope that Art Studio Inc and their cause isn't forgotten, because those children would be given up on as well without anyone to depend on. They need volunteers. They need some sort of stability from a person or mentor they can look up to.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I felt extremely helpful throughout this experience, even though it was for only two days. I have a lot of respect for the volunteers who continue to work with these kids everyday, and can only hope that more people begin to realize that they children need them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to advertise more... I would try to find a bigger and well-known company that would sponsor our advertisement. And I would also try to partner up with a community college or university in order to look for more volunteers.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Made me appreciate my life for what it is.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Guilty, upset, loved.... changed my life

February 14, 2011

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February 14, 2011

I found out about Art Studio Miami about a year ago when I read an article in The Miami Herald. I went to the studio to determine if this could be a place where the Friends of Little River charitable organization could team to provide additional services to the children in the neighborhood. I found the amazing leadership and passion of Rachel and Soralee to be inspiring and I encouraged my organization to support their after school programming at the Jesse J McCrary Elementary School and work toward supporting other programs offered at ASM.

I have also taken my young children to programs offered at ASM. My 4, 7 and 8 year old loved the guided imagining session and the mask making lead by Ashley. They talked about it for weeks. It is truly amazing what the arts can inspire in all of us.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have worked with the children at the Jesse J McCrary Elementary school for a number of years and this holistic-creative arts integration program has benefited many of the children who may otherwise have had lower self esteem and difficulty expressing themselves.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would find additional sources of revenue to help fund additional programming at ASM and at the local middle and high schools.

January 31, 2011

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January 31, 2011

I came to Art Studio as a volunteer mentor early in the summer of 2009 and immediately felt as if I'd found home. The Art Studio team of artists and volunteers are so passionate about the work they do to inspire, encourage, and empower the youth of Little Haiti through the integration of creative-holistic arts, and the core team is equally dedicated to providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all volunteers and contributors.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

bringing light to the youth of Little Haiti. You can see the change in each student's confidence, self-esteem, and skills by the end of each program. Also in educating others about the plight of youth living in poverty and the Cradle to Prison Pipeline.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase capacity by increasing funding. Art Studio is able to do a LOT with the limited resources it currently has (over 700 youth served already!), but would be able to have a much greater impact with consistent, sustainable funding staff and resources/volunteers.

September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

My family and I are devoted participants in Art Studio Miami. I have been in the arts for over 30 years , organized exhibitons around the world , from the DIA Art Foundation in New York , the Bronx Museum to Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico and Centro Colombo Americano in Medellin, Colombia , many others. But I must confess that none have brought the satisfaction that I feel when an ART STUDIO student smiles. It is a great achivement. Thank you to all ASM friends for allowing the me opportunity to feel this satisfaction.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The behavior of the children that participate, positive memories that will mark their lifes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand it to reach all children around the world.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the smiles of the children.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

sincere , devoted and most important friendly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help many more children understand the arts, therefore, create a discipline helpfull for their whole life.

Ways to make it better...

we had ten million dollars more to expand our reach.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the funding of the operation.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I LOVE ART STUDIO MIAMI AND RACHEL HUGHES,FOUNDER.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

Art Studio Miami has been working tirelessly to help the Haitian community in Miami. It is a primarily volunteer run organization that was started by a New York transplant. They give free programming to the youth in the community and have a holistic and arts education approach. Their hearts are in the right place and approach what they do with integrity and passion.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

local elementary schools and thru fundraisers.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

I am happy to be a part of the Silent Auction Fund Raising Committee for Art Studio Miami. The silent auction items will help raise funds for artistic programming and self expression for the children and youth of "Little Haiti" in Miami. Art Studio Miami provides an outlet for the youngsters to be creative and imaginative. They eagerly welcome this opportunity since there is no art curriculum in many of their schools. Faced with a limited budget art is typically one of the first subjects to be cut by many schools. This young organization is certainly working wonders for the youth with limited resources. "Hats off" to the management, staff and volunteers who give of their time and energy.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have the chance to sit-in on an art session with the youth who ranged from age 5 to 13. All of them were engaged in the activity of painting old articles of clothing to make them "hip" and chic. Each youth had different visions of how what to do...

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

The Art Studio of Miami provides our students with an opportunity to express themselves through ART. The team of people involved in this organization are incredible. They are dedicated to ensuring that our students receive as many opportunities as possible to succeed. I can honestly say they put a smile on our students' face. The students enjoy attending the classes becasue they feel safe and welcomed. Th Art Studio of Miami has provided a safe haven for our students to spend their afternoons involved in fun, interactive learning experiences.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the excitement and enthusiasm the students have expressed about this program.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 27, 2010

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September 27, 2010

Art Studio Inc (aka Art Studio Miami) looks to help children at risk in the inner cities (Miami in particular as well as Globally--Haiti too)by providing refuge and hope to a generation of children that normally fall through the cracks in the system. I went to one of their fundraisers back in May and had the honor of seeing how their system of support, help and empowerment gave rise to hope that the young people caught up in a cycle of poverty to prison can disrupt this cycle and position themselves for something much more than anticipation of the same old life choice outcomes in an environment where there usually is no choice or hope

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in Miami & seeing first hand the children helped by the work of Rachel Hughes and Soralee Ayvar. I can honestly say, that if if weren't for their continuing efforts, I'd fear for these children

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would give them more resources to carry out and fulfill their mandate of helping at risk inner city children as well as help them to help other NPO organizations achieve their own objectives as well

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

hope and perseverance no matter how great the obstacles

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

were exceptional and could not be more suited to handling everything placed in their path

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Having lots of resources would be nice, but I think diversity allows organizations like Art Studio to truly shine & make the right financial choices. But having no money & then having say, $10Mil. would enable Art Studio to make truly enlightened choices

Ways to make it better...

could have stayed in Miami for longer periods of time to help them achieve their major fund raising goals and objectives related to getting Art Studio into the schools with it's effective educational objectives

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

short term funding, bureaucratic red tape, and lack of understanding of the truly monumental place & purpose in society that Art Studio serves by individuals & organizations that can really help this NPO

One thing I'd also say is that...

No matter how much money Art Studio has, they always seem to provide just what's needed most and that is hope to these children, so please help them to help others, because I certainly will do my part

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

mentor at-risk youth;
assist with an art activity or fundraising event;
prepare snacks/meals;
organize supplies;
edit photos/film;
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