Juasline Plasencia ’23 is using her Kirkland Summer Research grant to teach art online to students at Miami Southridge High School and provide them with art supplies. As her project evolves, she plans to share the students’ artwork on social media.
Tell us more about your project.
I’m doing a summer arts program at my high school … it’s located in a very low-income, minority community, so the type of funding that is available to the art department is minimal. I feel like in our communities, there isn’t really a focus on art. I want to provide something for these students to make their high school experience so much better.
How did you come up with this project?
I want to be an art teacher in my future. What I learned in high school is that if you take advantage of the four years of school that you’re given at the very beginning, then you have a much higher chance of actually graduating with something on your record to show what you were dedicated to. I wanted to get started early and take advantage of the fact that Hamilton does have these opportunities.
Intended major: Art
Hometown: Garfield, N.J, moved to Miami for high school
High school: Miami Southridge Senior High School
What are your responsibilities for the project?
Whenever something has to do with teaching, there’s a creative aspect to the development of the program that people don’t really acknowledge. It’s a lot of researching and schedule planning and trying to figure out what’s the best way for human beings to learn something in a creative and fun way. It’s going to be challenging; it has been already, but I’ve had the help of some of the art professors at Hamilton, which has been great.
What do you ultimately hope to accomplish with your project?
I feel like art is the way to make the world a right place. There’s a lot of stuff going on, especially with my community, [and] we have been robbed of our creative and artistic nature. We have been forced to look at it as not essential to us or not essential to our beings. I want to use this program as a holistic way to help a community and to help an entire population and hopefully an entire race. I want this to be implemented in other cities and other countries around the world. I want this to be a way of life, the same way eating is to us. I want it to be a thing to say, “I’m going to be creative today and express myself. See you later.”
Is there anything else that you want to add?
I would like people to know me as the spreader of joy and happiness and love and peace, and my philosophy in life is love and respect people.