New video: Las Artes gives at-risk students a chance to contribute; to pursue careers, higher educationby Pima County News on Sep. 11, 2012, under One-Stop Career Center, Pima County, Southern Arizona, Tucson, youth
A new video provides an inside and up-close look at the difference Pima County’s Las Artes Arts & Education Center makes in the lives of young people in our community.
The 21-minute video is available for viewing on Pima County’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/pimagov.
Las Artes, at 23 W. 27th St. in South Tucson, combines structured classroom study with community art projects to prepare students for GED testing and to build their employability skills. More than 500 Las Artes students have obtained their GEDs since the program began more than 15 years ago.
Las Artes students’ murals, ceramic tiles and other artwork can be seen across Pima County – in South Tucson, Sahuarita, Marana and Tucson. Their work at the University of Arizona Bioscience Park at Kino Parkway and East 36th Street will be featured at the park’s dedication on Thursday, Oct. 11.
Most of the students who attend Las Artes have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out. They’ve worked to help support their families. Or they’ve become discouraged by previous experiences in school. “They’ve become so used to having roadblocks in their way,” says Elena West, Las Artes program manager.
Las Artes gives them an opportunity to succeed and contribute to their community.
“We provide an individual who has gotten their education, who has the hopes and the aspirations and the dreams to continue on to do for themselves, whether it is to continue into education, higher education, or to employment,” West says.
“That has to translate into an employee that’s qualified, that’s efficient, that understands about punctuality and about showing up every day to work and about performing for the betterment not only of the employer they may be working for but for sustaining themselves and their family.”
The students in the video say it best.
“When I started attending Las Artes, it changed my whole outlook on life,” one student says. “I never wanted to go to college. I never even knew what I wanted to do with my life. But now I know.”
The next open enrollment in Las Artes is Oct. 17. Prospective students must complete an application and take a basic academic assessment to determine placement. For more information, call 243-5050 or visit www.pima.gov/CED/CR/LasArtes.html.