KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City nonprofit is teaming up with the Kansas City Art Institute for a summer program designed to save young lives and lay a foundation for a brighter future.
Students at Northeast High School are participating in a summer program organized by Lyrik's Institution and the Kansas City Art Institute.
The program offers teens classes in subjects such as painting and sculpting/3D design.
“It really helps me get my mind off of a lot of things and like just to keep me distracted and doing something I really like to enjoy," said student Danely Torres.
Lyrik's Institution founder Kyle Hollins said the program exposes young people to a positive environment where they can learn and grow.
“For them to actually see it, to walk the campus, to see the artwork, to see the teachers and interact. It’s also opening up their eyes to new possibilities and opportunities," Hollins said.
Hollins said the summer program is important for many of the teens they work with,“They’re coming from poverty. They’re coming from struggle. They’re coming from hardships.”
Hollins said his organization focuses on behavior modification and opportunities like the summer program offer a change that can have a positive impact on their future.
Art instructor Belinda Blake said she notices a change in the students.
“They’re getting more comfortable with finding their own voice with visual art," said Blake.
Dr. Keyona Powell with Northeast High School also notices a change in the students' behavior.
“They’re drawing when they get home. They’re sketching when they get home, and this has been like a therapeutic release for them," said Powell.
The program will run until July 23. A gala recognizing the students' work will be held July 23 at 6 p.m. inside the Gem Theatre in the 18th and Vine District.