YSA recognizes fifteen year old Virginia Newsome of Lexington, Kentucky, as one of our Everyday Young Heroes for her work to ensure that children in her community have access to quality arts education.
Virginia started her own non-profit group called heARTs, with the mission of bringing arts programs back into schools in her community after local schools, including her own Magnet School for the Arts, experienced budget cuts to the art departments.
heARTs provides schools with in-school and after school arts programming through a volunteer placement program, provides schools with donated arts supplies, and advocates for arts education through outreach to policy makers. Virginia recruited a friend who is an artist to design a logo for her, drafted a business plan, created her own Facebook page, and applied for 501(c)3 status. Virginia uses her Facebook page as her primary vehicle for collecting donations and receiving requests for school supplies from schools facing cuts in their arts programs.
She has already received requests from local schools, as well as schools as far away as Hawaii and Africa. She is excited about helping schools all over the world, wherever there is a need and is working on expanding her project to meet the growing demand. Virginia also manages volunteer recruitment and has mobilized local artists and authors to volunteer their time to work with children in schools with reduced arts funding.
Virginia hopes that the children who are the recipients of the donations and classes will benefit from learning about the visual and performing arts. Inspiring their creativity will hopefully help them become creative problem solvers and expressive individuals no matter what career path they follow in life. For her work to save arts education and inspire creativity in others, we honor Virginia as an Everyday Young Hero.
To nominate a young person who has improved their community through service to be recognized as an Everyday Young Hero, please visit www.ysa.org/awards/hero.
Everyday Young Heroes