Trees

by Libby Parent

trees

I’ve always been obsessed with watercolor; it has such a soft look, and always makes me feel happy.  The other day I decided to paint a quick scene of trees in water with the roots coming through.  Roots are usually a sign of life, and life is extremely important to me; as it probably is to everyone. Considering how many loved I have lost, I tend to cherish it.

-Libby Parent

Portrait of Boyfriend

by Libby Parent

Photo of boyfriend.png

I had wanted to do something special for my boyfriend of three years for his birthday, which happens to be right after Christmas.  Unfortunately, I have a problem with being a little too generous on certain holidays, and so I would break the bank when shopping for him.  I decided, instead of spending a few hundred dollars or more, I would use my art skills to make a collage of different portraits of him.  They are all stylized in different ways, so none of them look the same.  This is one of the first portraits I did of him and even though it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart.

-Libby Parent

Face in Cross Hatching

by Libby Parent

face-cross-hatching

Almost every piece I do has a different inner meaning to go along with it, so none of my art is created for no reason.  The meaning of this one digs extremely deep and interprets what I face almost every day.  This piece shows what I feel when having a panic attack or occasions when my depression is through the roof.  Cross hatching lets art take a messy route, so therefore you’re able to create without being too literal.  The face lifting from the paper gives a sense of what I am trying to get away from.

-Libby Parent

Serpent

by Juliana Rivera

serpent

“Art is a passion and a therapy. I am at peace when I draw little details expanding out into these artful webs or mandalas. As a very impatient person, I surprise myself with the amount of time I can spend drawing lines and shapes. I forget about everything and stressful thoughts are gone for a while. In the fast paced life we’re all living, it is mandatory for us to slow down and appreciate (or create) the tiny details.” – Juliana Rivera

Web

By Juliana Rivera

web

“Art is a passion and a therapy. I am at peace when I draw little details expanding out into these artful webs or mandalas. As a very impatient person, I surprise myself with the amount of time I can spend drawing lines and shapes. I forget about everything and stressful thoughts are gone for a while. In the fast paced life we’re all living, it is mandatory for us to slow down and appreciate (or create) the tiny details.” – Juliana Rivera

A Story of Determination

By: Manar Almidani

It was a humid August day when I walked into my 7th grade class for the first time. Everything was new to me. I had arrived in America a mere two weeks ago after narrowly escaping the violent Syrian civil war. I sat down at my desk, looking around, taking in my new environment when my thoughts were interrupted by whom I assumed was my new teacher. She briefly introduced herself and then started handing out test packets for the summer reading that the students were assigned. I glanced over the packet knowing there was no way I would be able to answer these questions. I kept canvassing the questions again and again frustrated by what I perceived was my own incompetence.  After giving up hope, I handed in the paper blank, something I had never done before. I sat back in my desk, overwhelmed and defeated by my rocky start to the school year in my new home.

The hopelessness I felt slowly started to morph into determination to learn English in order to do well in school, communicate well with my peers, and express my thoughts and ideas. Initially, mastering the English language was an obstacle in my way that I had to overcome in order to succeed and grow in my new environment. I needed it to survive. I knew I had to be determined, patient, and focused if I wanted to be able to keep up with my peers. I acknowledged that if I worked hard, it would pay off eventually. I started to stay after school for help, take time out of my day to learn vocabulary and grammar, and rewrite passages out of books, so I could learn new words and look up the words that I didn’t know in the dictionary. With the help of siblings, my ESL teacher, and my hard work, I passed my ESL test with a score of 5 out of 5. The journey was not easy, to put it lightly, but I enjoyed it every step of the way.

Eventually, I have come to have a hunger for a language that once sounded so foreign to me where I now devour anything I can get my hands on from books to magazines. My five years of hard work and diligence have payed off so that now as a senior in high school I can take two AP classes and write this essay.I recognize that I have come a long way from that first day of school in 7th grade, but my learning does not stop here. I am continually increasing my vocabulary and honing my English skills. It is an ongoing process, but it is one that I enjoy and welcome it with arms wide open.