Dear Friends, FLAME! Here at GlassRoots, flame is both a tool for personal transformation and a transformational program for teens.
Our FLAME program is unique; we engage young people at risk of failing or dropping out of high school and whose prospects and outlook for the future are bleak. Whether they are coping with learning differences, struggling with issues of identity, or pregnant or parenting, success in our studios impresses upon these teens that they matter, and that if they work hard, there is no limit to what they can achieve. Watch a video about this program here.
Jonathan, pictured above, is currently a student at an alternative high school here in Newark; a junior who struggled to keep up at a traditional school, he’s now in a program geared to offer instruction at a pace suited for him, a self-described visual, hands-on learner. As part of his educational program, he spends eight hours a week in our studios in our FLAME program.
GlassRoots knows that investment in real work experience for vulnerable youth can improve their understanding of the value of education, increase their self-esteem and ambition, while increasing prospects for future employment, whether they are heading to higher education following secondary school or not.
The innovation of teaching entrepreneurship entirely through the practical application of hands-on creative work with glass epitomizes GlassRoots’ theory of change. In FLAME, as with all of our programs, we use the uniquely engaging medium of molten glass to replace students’ risky behaviors with focus and
teamwork and to replace their disengagement with critical thinking, problem solving, communication, self-determination, and leadership.
Our setting is entirely unlike any learning environment these students have encountered previously: it is raw and industrial, it has open fire and sharp tools, and it demands their maturity and respect. And it’s where they earn ours.
Jonathan recently designed and created the prototype for a commission, which was approved by our customer. The 'E' in FLAME stands for entrepreneurship, and, for our students, working with GlassRoots models a business using glass art to generate earned income. Originally our client wanted only 5 awards, but after seeing the prototype, and realizing it was made by a student, they ordered 27 awards! Jonathan’s success was our success.
While Jonathon felt good knowing he helped GlassRoots bring in earned income, he continues to create his own work at our studio. He’s most proud of his night lights – learning new technique and understanding how to create art and products.
Our students work hard. In assessing their skills post-program, students reported the highest gain in skills in three areas: goal setting, financial management and marketing & selling. They also reported significant increases in decision making, planning & research and communication skills, both oral and written.
Our FLAME program is intensive, it is personal, it is impactful. It is also expensive. None of our students could participate if they had to pay the full $4500 fee.
This is why we ask for your support!
We are creating significant outcomes for these students. This investment in their futures will pay dividends; not only does it save society from having to pay for negative consequences of disengagement – it tells these young people we believe in them and in their futures.
Tell Jonathan you believe in him and our programs with
your contribution today!
Jonathan says that he can now channel his energy differently. “Ideas flow into work that I’m making. I’m calmer, and I can plan for my future.” He talked about making a mosaic – taking broken glass, exerting hard work and effort, putting the pieces together – creating something new.
Creating something new. It happens every day here at GlassRoots.
Your gift will directly fund meaningful programs like FLAME this year.
Please make your gift today.
With our great thanks,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
P.S. Learn more about awards and commissions, like the one Jonathan designed here.