Saturday, June 16, 2012


School's out for summer! Photo by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio

Artists For Humanity is an awesome place for teens to work, and the word is spreading faster than wild-fire!  In fact, AFH is among the largest employers of teens in Boston. At the EpiCenter, teens work, learn, communicate, and, most importantly, sell their innovations, creations, and ideas. Along with gaining independence, responsibility, and drive at AFH, our teens are mentored by professionals who help them hone their talents, deepen their craft, and find new ways to express themselves.

However, making money and creating art isn’t all our teens do here. Thanks to the help of our Education Director, Education Coordinators, and mentors, our teens are also given the opportunity to spend extra hours focusing on their school work, and thinking about their future post-AFH.

This year, we are proud to announce that 90% of our seniors are heading off to college, and eleven will attend art schools! And most importantly, 100% are receiving Financial Aid that amounts to close to $500,000 in scholarships!

Our proud stairwell wall displaying Colleges AFH Seniors have been accepted to! Photo by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio

Along with giving ALL of our teens high-fives for working so hard throughout the year, we want to commend our AFH Education team for their dedication to our teens. Yes, untold hours are spent helping our teens explore post secondary options, make appropriate choices, fill out college applications, apply for scholarships and feel confident they will succeed!

So who is on AFH's education dream team? These ladies! 

Sneha, Lesley, and Kristina! Photo by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio

Let us introduce you to them personally! Drum roll please…
Meet AFH’s first-ever Education and Evaluation Director, Lesley Horrall!

Photo of Lesley by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio 

 Lesley joined AFH in 2011. She has a Masters in Education from Harvard in Adolescent Risk and Prevention. A self-described “survey-lady,” she is responsible for overseeing all evaluation of our programs. This busy bee also provides and oversees one-on-one tutoring, math and literacy in the arts programming, and college readiness guidance and workshops.

Lesley and Donnell! Photo by Carolyn Rochalski, AFH Photography Studio

Her favorite part about working with AFH teen-artists?
"AFH teens are so passionate about art and their futures!" she says, "I've never worked with a group of teens that are so excited to learn and take advantage of opportunities. My work is so rewarding because of their energy." 

It's a Math Moment with Lesley! Photo by Bill Le, AFH Photography Studio
Lesley also recruits interns and volunteers to assist in program  implementation, including a Literacy Intern, SAT/College Admissions Intern, experts to lead financial workshops, and trained tutors specializing in math, science, English, and other subjects as needed.

Teen talk. Photo by Bill Le, AFH Photography Studio

Assisting Lesley with educational programming and resources is our Painting Mentor and Education Coordinator, Sneha Shrestha

Photo of Sneha by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio 

Sneha was born in Nepal, which is where she helped establish a community children's library. After coming to the States to attend Gettysburg College, which is where she received a double Bachelor of Art in Studio Art and Globalization Studies, Sneha was hired to mentor our teen-painters and show them the various ways in which they can express themselves through their artwork. This talented artist and feisty go-getter manages the painting studio’s “nuts and bolts” and organizes special projects and recruits new rising teens to join the AFH staff.

One on one with Sneha. Photo by Bill Le, AFH Photography Studio
When not working in the painting studio, Sneha helps teens find scholarships, organizes college prep workshops, and leads college visits for our Juniors and Seniors ready for what is after AFH.

Sneha and a crew of AFHers touring RISD! 

The best part about working at AFH?
“Getting to work as an artist and a community helper at the same time!” Sneha explains, “Working with our AFH youth to help them create and express themselves through their paintings feels great too. I learn everyday from our little creative community. It’s also fun to hear their experiences as I recall my own when I was a teenager!”
One of our amazing tutors, Michelle, helps Samuel with some homework. Photo by Carolyn Rochalski, AFH Photography Studio 

Meet the third member of this tight team, Kristina Grinovich, AFH’s Events and Communications Associate! 

Photo of Kristina by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio 

While there is no “Education” in her title, this jack-of-all-trades uses her writing and communications background to help lead after-hours tutoring nights, and mentors the teens in essay-writing, artist bios, and scholarship work. During the summer, she co-runs AFH’s “Live: After Hours!” program, which provides fun activities for the teens to do every Thursday night throughout the summer. Oh, and this certified yoga teacher also runs an after-hours yoga program open to all staff, teens, and the community!

Kristina leads our teen yogis! Photo by Mary Nguyen, AFH Photography Studio 

 Her favorite part about working with the teens? “I love their passion!” she adds, “ I feel really lucky to get to know these teens, and to see them start to come into their own at AFH. My goal is to encourage them to keep exploring, whether that be through their art, their education, or through yoga. They inspire me everyday with their fearlessness and ambition.”

For late breaking news about AFH’s unique youth-arts enterprise, check out
our website and facebook, and visit the new Artists For Humanity -The Store in historic Faneuil Hall! 

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