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Teens: 3 Reasons to Join an ElevArte Program Today

By Marshawn Frencha

 Marshawn Frencha and ElevArte staff/teaching artist Thelma Uranga stand in front of his photos at the Spring Closing Showcase.

Marshawn Frencha and ElevArte staff/teaching artist Thelma Uranga stand in front of his photos at the Spring Closing Showcase.

For over 30 years, ElevArte has helped youth reach their full potential. Teens and children who participate in their programs have the chance to evolve and be challenged, but often times it doesn’t end there. ElevArte encourages youth to give back to their communities and to do well in this world. As a whole ElevArte continues to lead communities and children to their best possible selves— I have participated in many of their offerings and here are my top three reasons why I think any young person should participate:

1. Gain Skills
ElevArte offers programs such as the Walls of Hope Mural Project, We Are Hip Hop Youth Festival, Sew Stitchy and technology classes. Teens should join these programs because they will always learn new skills. From taking on management roles, creating colorful merchandise and calling to recruit new artists, teens leave with new skills and qualities to better their communities.

2. Diversity
When students join an ElevArte program they get to meet so many wonderful people from all over the city like Pilsen, Back of the Yards, the north and south side. Teens bring so much culture to their program. Teens also get to take part in the cultural celebrations that ElevArte offers. These celebrations include Pozolada, Muertos De La Risa and We Are Hip Hop. 

3. Love and Support
Teens grow and become a part of something much bigger than them. They gain the support of the ElevArte staff in the areas of resume writing, college essay workshops and regular check-ins. Teens are guaranteed to always have assistance and know they are not alone in their journey. The staff always has an open ear to lend to their students. Ultimately, the staff becomes like a second family.

In conclusion, ElevArte programs push teens to grow to the best of their ability. They are not only challenged, but they have fun achieving and learning new things from the community around them. This is why I think teens should join an ElevArte program.

To join an ElevArte program, please visit After School Matters to fill out an application. Teens must be at least 14 years old and in high school.

Marshawn Frencha is a junior at Kenwood Academy where his favorite subjects are english, art and history. When he’s not busy doing homework, he likes to meditate and draw. He is also interested in modeling and would like to study commercial photography or fashion design after high school.