Transforming Communities Through Art and Education

Very few things have the emotional resonance that is intrinsic to art. Its power resides in its versatility: it can be an educational tool, a means for self-expression, or an instrument to tell a story that matters.

Or, like in my case, it can also be the driving force that transforms someone’s life.

How Art Helped Me Find a Purpose

I spent my childhood in an underprivileged neighborhood in Chicago. Being the son of Guatemalan immigrants, I witnessed how much hard work my family had to put just to make ends meet. At a young age, I wanted for me and my family to rise above and aspire for a better life.

Because of the low-income conditions that I grew up in, I didn’t have video games or entertainment of that sort. However, my dad brought home stacks of blank paper from his work and that was my toy, my canvas. From a very early age, I was making drawings of influential social figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr.

I found that sketches and drawings were the best way to express my thoughts and feelings about the social causes that concerned me. By joining artist crews and social justice groups, I found purpose in creating art that celebrated people and supported causes that influenced social change.

Making Art That Has A Meaningful Impact on Communities

I’ve discovered unique ways to incorporate my art and purpose through my work at Herbalife Nutrition. For example, I have been able to engage in meaningful community projects.

We recently partnered with the LA Galaxy Foundation to redesign the Jim Thorpe Park in Hawthorne, California. I was tasked with helping visualize what two branded new futsal courts would look like alongside a cool graffiti mural. The mural represents our goal to provide the local children with a safe haven to pursue sports and an active lifestyle.

I also spearheaded an initiative with the Best Choice Center, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They offer programs that provide after-school care and enrichment activities for young students. Through the creation of a graffiti mural and sports activities for children, we fulfilled our purpose to improve the lives of local youth through health and happiness.

Finding A Shared Purpose

It’s an honor for me to take part in these kinds of activities, which combine my love of art, educating people about a healthier lifestyle, and helping our communities.

In a lot of ways, the challenges facing these children reflect my own childhood. I just hope that through these opportunities to share my art, they are inspired to create and motivated to persevere and succeed.

And it makes me feel proud to be part of a company that thinks about people and acts to help children who need nourishment, care, and education.