About the Art of Me Publication

The What: The Art of Me publication is a creative platform for young people to express themselves, unfiltered, and to constructively reflect on issues affecting them.

The How: We support young people in identifying their voice through various forms of art (storytelling, filmmaking, photography, music, etc…).

The Changemakers: Follow us as this platform marks the beginning of our journey as we collaboratively identify resources to find the space and place to create positive social change.

To find out more about our work, programs, and film competition please visit www.artofme.org. To contact us about the publication please email us artofmeny@gmail.com.


A Message from Steph and Cecilia

Many times in our careers, we’ve been told to hold back so as to not disrupt the narrative. It is through art and education that we found our voice and our strength. We are challenged every single day, all of us, to remain positive despite what is going on around us. We believe that storytelling and expression is a way to connect us with each other and to build on our humanity. 

We believe in giving back, what we can in whatever way we can. We have been lucky enough to have had the experiences we had as professionals in education, media and in social justice work. We want to bring these experiences to our communities and to the students who seeking these opportunities to be seen, heard, and understood for the beautiful young people they are. 

This publication was created in the hopes of giving youth a positive platform to identify issues and collectively create solutions to encourage mental, emotional, physical health and safety. They should be able to decide what their place is in all of this. They should be able to contribute to the narrative, in whatever way they choose to. We strive to work in collaboration with artists, teachers, families, school districts, local community leaders and national experts to provide feedback and opportunities for all students. 

For this first issue, we selected strong entries that spoke to love, the future, and visibility. We had the honor of working with each of these students. These are their stories, in their words, unfiltered.... 

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Stephanie Wahome- Lassiter (aka Steph)

Steph Lassiter was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio with Kenyan descent. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After graduation, she worked for City Year Inc. in Detroit, Michigan and Seattle, Washington, managing AmeriCorps members to serve under-served youth. Steph later combined her Executive Masters in Not-For-Profit Leadership and Masters in Education to help start up a Charter school in D.C. After many years of serving other communities, Steph returned to her home in Cleveland to provide education and an arts-integrated curriculum for under-served youth. She's directed a number of music videos and short films. Steph is multi-talented and able to juggle multiple competing priorities. As a mother of two adorable and precosious children we don’t know where she gets the energy to do it all but she does, and she does it well.

 
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Cecilia R. Mejia (aka Ceci)

Cecilia was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She's a first generation Filipino-American. She has worked in development for a number of years for several grassroots nonprofit organizations, including NGOs affiliated with the UN- focusing on Education and Youth. She has a Masters Degree in Public Administration & Affairs and is a graduate of Columbia Business School’s Emerging Leaders Program. Cecilia is involved in producing and creating several projections including upcoming films like Yellow Rose and Lingua Franca. As a first-generation Filipino-American, Cecilia is inspired by immigrant stories and narratives that address themes of identity and migration. Not only does Cecilia shepherd storytelling from scripts to screens, but she is also a writer and avid reader. She loves working with students, taking photos, traveling, driving and listening to music. Cecilia possess a lot of interesting talents including cake decorating and baking which helped her earn extra money while she was in graduate school.