We first met Vincent
in our Published
Writers Program. He
wasn’t much for
talking, looked down
vs. up most of the
time - yet never
missed a class. He
was a 26 year-old Navaho who landed in Los Angeles from a reservation in Arizona. Whatever his journey to skid row, there was no doubt he’d seen far more than most his age and his personal walls were thicker too.
We saw Vincent change . He wrote courageously and read his work openly. (Read Vincent’s “I Am”(click here). He became a leader in the class, a new hair cut appeared, and he shared artwork (click here) that stopped us in our tracks. There was no mistake, even on small pieces of paper, we could see our Vincent was talented and a new possibility was opening for him.
Before the end of our 9-week course, Vincent signed up for two art classes at LA City College. UP provided art supplies and he returned our investment by delivering an A in each. He also signed-up for our acting course to further bring down those walls.
In acting, we cheered as we saw the artist in him emerge. He worked hard and earning a standing ovation at our “Night of Monologues.” Today, he’s found a job that allows him to work nights so he can attend art school during the day. With thanks and a huge grin, Vincent let us know he’d now be buying his own art supplies. No longer the guy looking down, his sights are set on a graphic arts degree and building a body a work for his first show.
“I have learned to write out my thoughts and emotions instead of acting out in a negative manner. Through this class I have also discovered that there is a lot more to people than it sometimes seems and that a lot of what you don’t see is very positive and deep.”
Jeff is a creative soul. Appreciates arts and letters, has a love for the outdoors and an eye for photography. He and his father are both residents of Union Rescue Mission.