The homeless population is the focus of my community involvement here in Longview. Not many people in school know that I have first-hand knowledge of this topic. When my Dad was sent to prison, I was brought to Longview to live with my mother, who was,and is homeless.
This experience has taught me to be non-judgmental of others and has given my life purpose in that someday, I hope to become an art-therapist in order to help other kids through traumatic events.
We stayed at a motel by the interstate. I lived in this room with my mom and two younger brothers for the last 2 years.We don't have a car. So my mom takes the bus. She grocery shops for all 4 of us, going across town to the Walmart or food pantry to get groceries, dragging it all back on the bus with her. Waiting and waiting for the right bus, all year, even in the heat of the summer if she can't find a ride. My job was to watch my brothers,one of who has behavioral issues and try to (1) keep them from running into the woods (2) playing
interstate and (3)keep them amused in an 18 x 18 foot room with no internet. It was difficult, to say the least.
Finally, when my mom received a job that allowed her to be home with my brothers - I was able to get a job.I have been working at Chuck E. Cheese’s since October every week. My only focus right now, is to go to college and obtain a degree- so I can have a meaningful career and support myself and my family.
I participated in the Pine Tree High Empty Bowls project where I used my art skills to craft ceramic bowls to sell to raise money for the homeless. I tried my best to be a very a member at Pine Tree- a school that I have really enjoyed going to.
I participated in the LMFA - Longview Museum of Fine Arts each year. I won the Beacon Award 2017, and was in National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society for 2[phone redacted]. I am the teacher's assistant to Mrs. Graham - the head of the studio art department. I have also been in the band for 6 years, playing French horn and mellophone. I only stopped so I could work at Chuck E. Cheese.
My dream is to give my community a kind of help we often forget about: Emotional Healing. More specifically, I want to become an Art Therapist.This is someone who helps others release their repressed emotions through the power of art. I believe that this is the best way to tap into our subconscious and expel negativity. This can be helpful to people of any age who have experienced a traumatic event or are handicapped in any way mentally or physically that makes it difficult for them to express themselves.
To this end, I will enroll in Kilgore College next fall to get my basics,and then transfer to a four year university for my bachelor's in counseling/psychology and minor in art. I will continue for a masters in Art Therapy.
Thank you for your time in reading my essay. I would so greatly appreciate any financial assistance that is available and can promise you that I will work very hard to achieve my plans and give back to the community.
- Akshatha Rao
- Kele & Paul Blalock
- David Freeman
- Keith Calhoun
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