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As the third child, I always found some way to be independent. Playing by myself was a joy, when others yearned for attention. Now that I am eighteen, I realize that being by yourself isn't always a joy.

Interacting with others betters yourself in some type of way. It is hard to believe that I love being by myself since I am known as a people person. Growing up in Oakland, California, I was able to explore fields of development. Staying with my close-knit family helped me understand myself better, rather than trying to discover who I was through others. Escaping mundane family life was always a struggle until I moved to New York to live with my mother.

Living in New York was a battle between the streets and myself. Being unique helped me survive the crowds of cliques. I pushed myself to be different and open-minded; that is how I fell in love with the arts. Art shares the same characteristics I like in people. That is why art is sometimes a long lost friend of mine, since art is an inner part of my soul that I sometimes can't find. In high school art helped me show my uniqueness to others. My style and media exemplify how creative and powerful I am mentally.

Through my journey of self-empowerment, my extracurricular activities piled up. From Cuba to tutoring after school, art portfolio to Youth Insights, all of these programs opened the doors to better who I am and what I want to do in the future. Having opportunities as a teenager is a blessing. Being open-minded as a person means your activities should cover a wide range of fields. Tutoring after school and working at the Museum are really different. Yet they share something in common: they make me interact with others, they help make me be dependent on working and sharing with others. That was something that was hard for me to do as a child.

I've changed over the years, and my style as an artist has evolved. I always look to my special qualities as an individual. Being at Youth Insights definitely helps me share those qualities with others. The Whitney is now that long lost friend that I hoped for in the sixth grade. It shows the differences between art and the artist. I do not know if I want to be an artist in the future, but I do know the Whitney will always be that friend when art is needed in my life.