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Hello, my name is Loura, and I am proud to introduce myself as a member of Youth Insights. Having the opportunity to work for Youth Insights and being able to collaborate with other teens that have the same passion for art as I do, is a true blessing. Well, enough about Youth Insights, let me tell you more about me. Obviously, I love art. My father was a painter and his influence led me to enjoy viewing the medium and history of each piece of artwork and having a moment to visualize each stroke, pattern, and emotion the artist was trying to express. In my opinion art is a mystery within itself.

I attend the High School of Art and Design and have a passion for photography. I was never really interested in photography until I reached my sophomore year of high school. At that point, I was still searching for my talent in the midst of art, until I started looking around and analyzing different angles, different people, and different locations through my eyes. I started justifying my fascination and telling myself, “What I see, I can make last forever and show it to all.” This was my purpose, to take as many photos about my heritage as a Puerto Rican to represent the multicultural diversity of America.

This was my purpose: to emphasize the struggle, the pain, and the happiness of what we see everyday but just don’t have the time to stop and let sink in. I was able to progress in photography by registering myself in The Point. The Point is an after-school program for teens and adults that teaches beginner, as well as advanced, photography. Going to that program was one of the highlights of my life, because they gave me free paper, free film, and three straight hours of developing time for free. It was great, greater than I could have ever imagined. I gained experience and knowledge in the field of photography as well as supportive friends and mentors along the way. Learning from all of my mistakes, I received a full scholarship to attend summer classes at ICP, the International Center of Photography. It was a very informative and professional experience for me, because I was surrounded by serious college students criticizing my photos, telling me how to make them better, or what techniques I should be using. It was a great learning experience and a big reality check for me on how competitive this particular field can be.

As well as photography, I also like to write poetry. One of my favorite poets is Langston Hughes because just one word he wrote can mean so much more. In addition, I feel that even though she was known as one of the top blues singers, to me, Billie Holiday was a poet, because she used the perfect melody within her voice. She would sing the sorrow and pain of what a woman feels when her heart aches. As for entertainment, I like everything when it comes to Spanish reggae, hip-hop, pop, and rock. I love them all. I like to listen to Rage Against the Machine, Ashanti, The Roots, Joss Stone, Vanessa Carlton, Alicia Keys, and much more. I also like to read. Some of my favorite authors are Jane Green and Esmeralda Santiago, because each of these female writers has such a smart humor in their books. If you are interested, one of Jane Green’s international best-sellers is a book titled Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans. Please get it and enjoy!

On a more playful note I like to shop, go to the movies, as well as watch reruns of Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond. I enjoy spending as much time with my family as possible because we all like to go out, eat, and have a good time. It’s been a blast, I hope to see you soon at the Whitney Museum of American Art so I can happily give you a tour.