This week, our Volunteer Spotlight is on Gladys Pasapera!
Why do you volunteer with ASTEP? ASTEP is a unique community of artists that feeds my creative + art teacher soul! I love ASTEP because it continues to open my eyes to the power of the arts and the endless possibilities for both teaching artists and students. It helps us teaching artists develop ways to foster safe and encouraging spaces for our young artists to develop confidence and communication skills through play and artmaking. Watching young people step outside the box and let go of their fears is a priceless moment to witness.
How long have you been volunteering with ASTEP? Since Summer of 2009
What programs have you been a part of with ASTEP? Art-in-Action (Florida) and RYSA (NYC)
What is your favorite memory from an ASTEP program? I have so many memories! But I recently came across some old photos from a lost USB with memories from my first RYSA summer of 2012. I didn’t know what to expect and I had little experience with English Language Learners. I taught a few projects that I was taught in high school so we started with sketchbook prompts and then plaster hands representing the students. The high school students were so honest and willing to share their truths and feelings about coming to America, the camaraderie was so beautiful!! They were also very engaged with the entire process of getting messy and playing with plaster. They had to pair up and take turns covering their hands with vaseline and then laying plaster strips to cover their hands so the cast would slide off after it was dry. Only laughter and fun filled the classroom!
Thank you, Gladys, for volunteering with ASTEP! You exude grace in the classroom and we are lucky to join forces with you. We cannot do this work without you!
To learn more about ways YOU can get involved with ASTEP at the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, click here!
For all Volunteer Inquiries, email ASTEP’S Manager of Programs, Sami Manfredi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.