Highlighting the undeniable power of arts education and its ability to open doors and breaks down walls.
When Nyomi P. was given the opportunity to train with a professional dancer through the Youth Arts Initiative at her Boys & Girls Club, it was life-changing. Having danced as a young child, she knew she was interested in the arts – but never realized her full potential and passion.
Nyomi attributes much of her excitement for dance to her esteemed instructor, Jacqueline Kling, who holds a master’s in fine arts degree from New York University. “With Nyomi, I see a lot of myself in her,” noted Kling. “At a young age, she really wants to get exposed to dance and all forms of it. I’m excited to see where this initiative takes her.”
Fast forward to today and Nyomi now credits that same dance training for her academic success, the opportunity to find her voice and her aspirations to be a leader in her community, and even become a dance instructor herself. In fact, she is already working toward this goal by leading dance classes for other girls at her Club. “I like working with the younger kids and seeing them become little dancers,” said Nyomi.
Through the Boys & Girls Club Youth Arts Initiative, which is made possible by a partnership with The Wallace Foundation, Nyomi discovered herself and her ability to empower and encourage other young girls at her local Boys & Girls Club. And she’s in good company there, following in the footsteps of Misty Copeland – who took her very first dance class at a Boys & Girls Club and later went on to become the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal dancer. “Being exposed to the arts at the Club was eye-opening to me, and it was through ballet that I was able to able find my voice,” Copeland shared.
From aspiring students to inspiring instructors and even icons in the arts, these stories highlight the undeniable power of arts education and its ability to open doors and breaks down walls. For more information about the Youth Arts Initiative, visit https://www.bgca.org/about-us/our-partners/wallace.