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Partnership for the Future (PFF) educates and inspires students of limited resources to pursue access to private sector networks and college opportunities so that they may become leaders and providers in our communities. PFF's mission is to equip high achieving high school students for success in college and beyond!

Alan Kirshner, Chairman and CEO of Markel Corporation created Partnership for the Future in 1994 after reading an article in the "Wall Street Journal" about Cedric Jennings, an inner-city teenager, who was turned away from entrance to M.I.T. because he did not have the cultural tools that M.I.T. deemed necessary for Ivy League success. This article inspired Mr. Kirshner and several business, government and education leaders to create an opportunity for youth in Richmond to gain exposure to new environments, to experience the benefits of the private enterprise system, to save for college, and to access relationships and opportunities previously closed to them.

Art for the Journey is honored to have the opportunity to work with two amazing young future leaders and talented artists this summer 2021!

I know that’s something I want in my future career. Making children laugh and have comfortable and happy memories through my work. ~Angel Shepperson

Angel Shepperson and Sitlany Romero began their internships with Art for the Journey in June 2021. We have already introduced both high school students to regular AFJ staff meetings each week for planning and deployment of programs. The interns will learn more about non-profit management as well as participate directly in programs. Both Angel and Sitlany have already designed and developed art projects and preparation for programs as well as designed graphic communications their first week! They are already part of the team! We asked Angel and Sitlany about what it is that art brings to their lives, and why is art a part of their academic interest. Here is what they said:

"Richmond born and raised, with a creative mother I always had things to do. Even early on when I wasn't in school it seems I was always in something. From playing with yarn and making friendship bracelets to using my mother’s cassette and VHS tapes for Barbie furniture, I needed something to do. My mother introduced me to reading, crafting and drawing. Reading and drawing was the best for me since crafting left a mess all over the dining room table. I looked at Art and reading as fun things to do to take life and school stress off my shoulders and kept on for a career path that to me seemed the best in the long run. At my current highschool, John Marshall, I got to take my chance at Animal Care 1&2. I got to learn the paperwork that came with learning how to be a Veterinary Assistant and I also got the rundown on how to groom and take care of a wide variety of animals. On school Holiday breaks Students were able to take home animals to care for, and then it really hit me that this is what real responsibility and training comes in and when I knew I wanted to change my career path. Drawing was still a part of my life and when COVID-19 came I took it more seriously and drew everyday. Through a virtual program at Art180, I found the Edward Dean Artistry residency with the artist in residence, Chris Visions. I’m excited to be accepted and be able to learn and thrive with new friendships with my peers and mentor. Through PFF I listed my interest in working with children and art, hoping that I could get something to help me pull my future together. Though my future isn't written in stone, I know that’s something I want in my future career. Making children laugh and have comfortable and happy memories through my work."
~Angel Shepperson

"At a very young age, I knew art was my passion, and the one thing I could always turn to for comfort and peace. Art allows me to express my ideas, my culture, and myself. I seek to positively influence the art community and infuse my diverse background into my pieces, so that others like myself, feel represented and seen. At Art for the Journey I hope to share my love and passion with young minds, and help them discover the beauty of art and expression of self. "
~Sitlany Romero

A major part of the assistance offered to these students is financial. Corporations make charitable contributions to PFF which are earmarked for scholarships. The majority of these funds are used as scholarships. The state-administered Virginia College Savings Plan (VCSP) partners with PFF to establish Invest529 accounts for each student. VCSP administers these accounts ensuring that students' savings are used for college expenses.

Art for the Journey is grateful to have the opportunity to offer knowledge and experience in arts non-profit work to Angel and Sitlany, and for the grant to PFF which made the possibility a reality! We will post pictures and updates throughout the summer as Angel and Sitlany help us with Summer Camp at the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School for both elementary and middle school children in lower income residences. We are all excited this summer as we reach more children than ever before and promoting well-being through art with a larger and wonderful team of staff, interns, and volunteers!

Both Angel and Sitlany will assist staff and volunteers this summer at the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School Summer Art programs for elementary through middle school students. They are busy assisting the teachers to prepare for all the art projects! From management, and volunteer engagement, graphic arts, and working with school children, we hope these wonderful interns will be provided much experience this summer to prepare for their future education and careers!

To learn more about Partnership for the Future :
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