Our Vision…

  • We are encouraging all young people to take action in their community and our world.
  • We are moving forward with our mission.
  • We are powerful advocates for change.
  • We are making a difference.
  • We are proactive not reactive.
  • We are the future so hear our voices!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


“It’s what’s inside that counts.”

Using academics and the arts as a medium, I created a charity event called: ‘A Star in You’. These events provide a fun and safe platform for children in need to receive encouragement that inspires hope, healing and harmony through a variety of themed activities. Through ‘A Star in You’, youths are inspired to share their inner stars with others to help make the world a bit brighter.

Ever since the very first ‘A Star in You’ event at the Ronald McDonald House in Los Angeles, ‘A Star in You’ has essentially become its very own recurring charity event! You can read more about the first event here.

(A fun IAPW group photo at Maryvale with Manuela, Janelle and Me!)
This event was hosted at ‘Maryvale Girls Home’ in California. Maryvale began in 1856 as a safe haven to orphaned children. Today, according to the mission statement, Maryvale helps neglected and abused girls “achieve fulfillment, dignity and self-esteem in an environment of stability, love and respect”. The theme of this ‘A Star in You’ event was “it’s what’s inside that counts’; focusing on building important qualities of hope, healing and harmony through a super fun art project.

Shy at first but quickly growing more excited, the girls gathered to create lovely jewelry boxes and their very own jewelry. Combining art with inspiration, multi-colored beads poured out and glittery paint was brushed on making the tables resemble a row of enchanted treasure chests. The beads were truly delightful and shone in an array of varied shapes and sizes. Each bead was symbolic of a theme (e.g. character, harmony, wisdom, etc.) and a way to express kindness to others. Once the project was fully in motion, the girls were busily painting boxes stringing beads and discussing the “charm bead” meanings with some even inventing their own!

One little girl asked me to tie her bracelet elastic together and when I finished she said, “I think my bracelet will help me to think of happy things. You see, I have pink charms: those stand for wisdom, and purple beads: which mean joy, aaaaaand silver charms: which mean Hope. Oh, I also put a heart on the bracelet to show that the bead meanings are the good things in my heart.”

It was truly an inspirational project created through art and self expression and I feel a sense of hope as I look down at my own bracelet. The gorgeous jewelry within the boxes represents the beautiful stars inside each of us, and shows that “it’s what’s inside that counts.” A take-away for all was: as we do kind deeds, we share our inner stars with others.

(The artwork at the very top is an animation style picture I drew for the ‘A STAR IN YOU’: MARYVALE event booklets and posters!)