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August 7, 2009

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August 7, 2009

I just finished my 3rd year working with Artists Striving To End Poverty Inc. (ASTEP) in it's Homestead, Florida High School Summer Camp. The work that they do there can only be described as palpable. I can't imagine planning a year without including some time to volunteer for them. They have a habit of creating a welcoming atmosphere that seems to touch you before you get on the plane. You feel the family forming before you meet your team and by the time you're in the same room it's already like you've known each other for months. It's not enough to read about the magic that happens there, it must be experienced physically. There is something that changes the air about working with them that everyone feels. I have witnessed youth of varying ages enter the camp with a shy, insecure demeanor and by the last day of camp most of the those kids are jumping in the middle of a crowd screaming the camp chant louder than any else. ASTEP has made it personally possible for me to witness the type of change that occurs when you take time to give your time to bestow your talents and skills on youth. It has quite frequently brought me to tears.

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

the way it not only strives to better communities and families but also use the artistic talents of others to facilitate that change.

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

almost like family within hours of meeting them.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 7, 2009

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August 7, 2009

Teaching in FL and South Africa with ASTEP was the most inspiring and important thing I have done with my life so far. I learned so much about another culture, I learned about how art can heal. Even if you don't speak the same language, you can communicate through art and change the life of a young child. The kids in FL and South Africa changed my life, opened my eyes to a new way of seeing the world, they taught me how to be a more compassionate human. I wouldn't trade my experience with ASTEP for anything in the world. It was fantastic!

Ways to make it better...

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

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

seeing kids who were abused in some way come full circle. I have seen kids change completely in a matter of weeks because they discovered an art form that touched them.

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

mostly Juilliard alumnus. I was surrounded by talented artists who only wanted to give everything that they could to the children.

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

change the lives of children all over the world. Every child deserves to go to through this program. It is an amazing way to teach children about art, and allow them to see their full potential.

Ways to make it better...

it was longer and I could do this every day. I did not want it to end.

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

Having enough money to accomplish as much as they can dream up.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

August 7, 2009

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August 7, 2009

I volunteer for ASTEP once a week, mostly doing office-y type stuff... and not only does it make me feel awesome (because that's what volunteering does), every week i learn another fabulous amazing thing that ASTEP does, or i learn about another amazing life it has touched. Check out the website, volunteer and challenge yourself to change lives... and your own in the process.

The Great!

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

the faces of children and artists and volunteers.

Ways to make it better...

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

be a better person.

More feedback...

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

working with incredible people and learning about the thousands of lives that are touched by this incredible organization.

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

intelligent, inspiring and way cool.

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

expand programming, employ thousands of artists, change the world, make children smile... did i mention change the world?

Ways to make it better...

i could volunteer with more people. Sign up!

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

the current economy, small office space (which is generously donated),

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

volunteering doesn't have to be about writing a check. ASTEP could use volunteers in all areas, as well as office equipment, in-kind donations... or even an hour of your time once a month. You are the only person who limits your imagination.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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