One of the first times I got involved with GlassRoots was in arranging an event for Girl Scouts from the city of Newark to participate in making beads in the open flame workshop and making coasters in the flat glass workshop. Not only were the staff members and volunteers great with the girls, but the girls all made great artwork, had a wonderful time, and were able express themselves through their art work. And, best of all they were able to take the art home to share! Working with the staff there was great in setting up the program and being flexible, especially when a snow storm hit that day. I have worked with and in non profits for roughly 15 years and was immediately impressed by their professionalism and passion, making it easy to accept the offer to join their Board.
I was particularly proud of the GlassRoots staff and students in June when we had our Business & Entrepreneurship program competition. Student teams who had worked for months on designing and producing glass products presented their work and the marketing plans for selling what they had made. GlassRoots students know: production, design, market demographis, variable margin, and public speaking!
GlassRoots has an amazing staff of artist-educators who have created a unique set of programs that teach at risk youth glassmaking skills, but also, more importantly, teamwork, focus and resilience. For many of the students, GlassRoots becomes their community and our staff their mentors. The lessons they learn - from the science of glass, to faith in their own creativity, to how to make a power point, can, and often does, make a huge difference in their lives. Everyone who works at GlassRoots and for GlassRoots feels priviledged to be able to make that kind of difference.
The staff, volunteers, Board, funders and students all are committed to this charity’s success. The charity has turned around the lives of youth who were out of options and out of hope. Because of this program, not only have children improved their artistic skills, but they have developed self-esteem, business skills and a love of learning. Students have gone on to travel overseas and attend college, all because of this program. If you are not familiar with GlassRoots, then you should stop by the hot shop and see the students hard at work. I promise it will inspire you to become a stakeholder in this charity’s success!