By Makisha Noel, SWSG Mentor at Miami-Dade College, Wolfson
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
The mentees of Strong Women, Strong Girls of South Florida have this saying etched in their this semester. The mentors of Miami-Dade College: Wolfson Chapter are taking on the goal of completing a mural that will be strength for their community. From Miami Gardens to Liberty City, these murals are meant to transform their surroundings as they know them. 9-year-old Montoria Gordon from Holmes Elementary School screamed with excitement, “I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait!” Pictured, you can see her expression of love for her community through the beauty of a flower. Our goal for this site’s mural is to piece their works together to create one big picture.
Additionally, one other goal for this project is to get the girls to express changes they hope to see in their community. One site is creating a mural titled ‘Stop Bullying’. This phrase is heard every day from administrators who make it their duty to keep children safe. However, hearing and seeing it from little girls proves the issue to be a growing obstacle; demonstrating the purpose of this composition. Our girls understand the problem of bullying to be a concern that cannot be ignored. This goal, as well as other mural objectives such as ‘Feeding the Hungry,’ have become extremely dear to them.
All in all, as mentors, we are excited to see our mentees grow into agents of change. One mentor from Hibiscus Elementary expressed, “What better way to proclaim change than through the uniqueness of a work of art?” Painting is a great way of sparking change. As the girls have learned, a mural sends a message. Coming from the depths of their hearts, they paint these images to speak to others’ hearts. So, communication is essential in making the world go ‘round. Learning to connect with others through art is what we all, mentors and mentees, are determined to accomplish this year.