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!