I never gave the word “Yes” much thought before. It was simply an affirmative reply to a question, or the opposite of “No.” And surely, “No” is more frequently the word of choice.
So, naturally, that’s what Jules assumed he would hear when he applied to our Varis Scientific Glassblowing Program. After all, he first heard about the program after the application deadline. And he had no glass experience. And, and, and… “No” is what he always has heard.
The word “Yes” only contains three letters, but the power of its meaning can change the world when spoken.
Jules is a young father who has been working as a driver for several years. He is seeking a more promising future so he can stay connected to his daughter. Thanks to the generosity of our donors we were able to say “Yes” to him, to his future, to his daughter. He is one of the most promising students in the program this year. We expect that he’ll hear many more yeses following his graduation.
Your generous donations allow us to say “Yes” much more often.
Your donation of $200 will mean we can say “Yes” to a local nonprofit asking if they can bring a group over for an hour workshop after school. And $2,500 will allow us to say a resounding “Yes” to 15 students wanting to participate in a 10-week residency.
At a time when too many are hearing “No”, we look to you for a “Yes.”
With our best wishes this holiday season,
This article about GlassRoots Varis Scientific Glassblowing Apprentice Program, penned by ED Barbara Heisler, appeared in the November issue of FUSION: The Journal of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society.
Five Apprentices completed a demanding 12-week program - graduating on December 15, 2016.
Learn more about this year's class here!
We've just gotten a link to a fabulous video that aired this past weekend on the acclaimed PBS program "State of the Arts." You can watch our segment on the show here.
Big props to Kate Dowd! Kate took the initiative to run a Facebook fundraiser on her personal page the last two weeks of November! With some extra pushes via emails and FB postings, donors, including friends, staff, and board members, donated $1,100. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching up to $1,000 making the total money raised on giving Tuesday. We’d be happy to show you how to run a personal fundraiser via FB or our new website!
We’re finishing an exciting year (our year ends 6/30) here at GlassRoots.
Over 1500 youth and nearly that many adults took classes with us.
Our evaluation process tell us that our youth and young adult programs are impactful – from our brief exposure programs (field trips, single classes), to our long-term youth programs (on-site residencies, our year-long Business and Entrepreneurship and FLAME programs and our summer Youth Leadership Corp), and our workforce development programs for young adults providing paths to careers (Scientific Glassblowing) and supplemental income (Craft Entrepreneurship through the Bead Shop), we’re making a difference.
In September, we’ll be launching our newest post-high program to move emerging young artists on paths to a college education, with our partners at Penland School of Crafts.
So exciting! Happy New Year!
You’ve been a friend of GlassRoots, and yet, I’m wondering, which GlassRoots are you familiar with? There are so many facets to our work.
Is it the GlassRoots that
Some of our best friends don’t realize that at GlassRoots we do all of this and more.
You’ve been a friend, and now we’re asking if you’ll also be a supporter.
In our tiny facility at 10 Bleeker Street, transformation happens. Your gifts will help us reach many more students like Dion Ross and Jaevon Valentine who went through our program several years ago. Now as young adults with good jobs, they look back at their experience and say:
“For us, GlassRoots was more than a creative outlet or “afterschool program.” GlassRoots offered positive outlets for fellow young Newarkers who, like us, wanted a chance to make it as independent and confident adults. The contacts we made at GlassRoots became lifelong friendships.
GlassRoots taught us how to express ourselves and our experiences through glassblowing and other glass art. Perhaps, most importantly, GlassRoots was, and still is, led by great role models and creative individuals who empowered us to become the adults we are today.”
We take pride in what we do. And we hope you take pride in supporting the opportunities and change offered. You should! Without your personal contributions, little of this would be possible.
Our Annual Fund underwrites the field trips and classes for 960 students so far this year who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to explore the magic within our doors. It buys the glass and heats the studios where our young entrepreneurs and academics hone critical learning and life skills. It pays the rent and upkeep of a facility-dependent organization, where our shops are the vehicle for this transformation. And it pays the salaries of the amazing teaching and professional staff that make all of this happen.
So now, we ask you to help us make a difference in the lives of young people with a generous gift to our Annual Fund. Please say yes and make your gift today, either on line at www.glassroots.org or by check in the envelope enclosed. Thank you.
With our very best wishes,
Roy walked into the GlassRoots office last week and, with a big smile on his face, looked up and said, “I love this place.”
While I already knew how Roy felt, I couldn’t help but smile with him. Earlier this month, the ABC network show “The Chew” was at our studios for the day, taping a holiday-themed segment. After a day of watching our students and staff enthusiastically engage in their glass working, teaching each other and the TV crew about their processes and techniques, I sat on the sidelines listening to the producer interview the students about their experiences here at GlassRoots.
We have many surveys and metrics to assess the effectiveness of our programs, but no chart or report can describe the passion and excitement our students expressed during these interviews.
Roy talked about his search for a creative outlet and finding that plus so much more here. He spoke about the patience, focus, and quiet he has discovered in himself; realizing both the artist and maturing young adult he’s becoming. Roy, who had bounced between three different high schools, has found his home. In just a few sentences, he summed up what so many of our students feel.
“I love this place. I love coming here.”
And Roy wasn’t alone. Student after student spoke clearly and eloquently about the changes they’ve realized through our programs, surprising me with their insights and honesty. They each acknowledged that, here at GlassRoots, they can close out the pressures of the outside world and focus on their art, their futures, and themselves.
Please make a gift this holiday season so that more young people can thrive through our glass art programs.
Over and over we’ve seen students who are frustrated or failing in school, for the first time, experience success in our studios. They see that learning matters, that they can be agents of their own future, and that they can make a positive change in their own lives. They take these successes back to their classrooms and their community. And as our students told the camera – and everyone who sees their interviews – their participation in our arts programs improves their sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
It was a good day here at GlassRoots – last week – when Roy walked in with that smile. For Roy, and many other students, GlassRoots is the constant and safe haven in their young lives.
Your donation of $250 allows us to buy 250 pounds of batch – the raw material Roy transforms into art in our hotshop. And $2,000 covers the costs of one student’s participation in our summer youth leadership program; the program that brought Roy to GlassRoots. Every gift is valued. Your financial support allows us to keep our studios open, our furnaces on, and our students engaged.
With our best wishes this holiday season,
PS. The GlassRoots segment on “The Chew” airs December 1 at 1:00 Eastern. Look at our website (www.glassroots.org) for more pictures from the day of the shoot and a link to the show!
This has been quite a year for GlassRoots. At our recent fundraiser, our executive director shared her list of the top 10 achievements for the last year. We think they're pretty fabulous:
During the last academic year we served 1080 youth from 82 different schools in 495 visits over 1400 hours!
In October 2014 we successfully launched our Varis Scientific Glass Program – training young adults ages 18-24 to make and repair that highly technical glass used in chem and pharma labs and enabling them to walk into entry-level jobs starting at 2x minimum wage. Industry and higher education organizations (ECC, Princeton, Salem CC partnered with us on this important program.)
GlassRoots board elected its first-ever student board representative – Hector Maldonado. And since Hector graduated and is off to college, the students will be selecting their new representative to present to the board.
We went global! Jennifer Johnson presented a paper on our Scientific Glassblowing program at an international conference in Canberra to wowed audiences!
GlassRoots entered into an important partnership with Rutgers Newark and continued partnerships with Newark arts, education, funding and community organizations.
We installed a magnificent public mural in the new Hotel Indigo Newark Downtown, a source of immense pride for our staff and students who could see their artistry enhancing a public space.
We developed and hosted an innovative Glass Volcano Program in partnership with the Earth Science Department at Rutgers‐Newark bringing science to life through glass for 350 Newark students.
Our craft entrepreneurship program, launching in November, was fully funded by two generous foundations. Young women in Newark will have a place to both build community and small businesses to provide supplemental income to help forge their futures.
100% of our students eligible to graduate from high school in June, did! One hundred percent!
With your support, we recovered from a fire outside of our studios, rebuilt our 7‐year old furnace, and ended the year solidly financially in the black. Your strong financial support will ensure that we stay on sure-footing and continue to serve the youth and young adults of the Greater Newark area.
What do you think?
READ NJTV NEWS' MADDIE ORTON'S COVERAGE OF OUR ANNUAL BUSINESS AND ENTERPRENEURSHIP COMPETITION OR WATCH IT HERE!