Saturday, March 9, 2013
Inocente, a story of resilience
"I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become." Carl Jung
I love to share inspiring stories on my blog. Inocente's story is one of them. I learned about her when I watched the Oscar winning documentary about her life at the International Film Festival I mentioned on my previous post.
Inocente is a teenager who confesses that she is homeless. She was born into a homeless family in San Diego, California.
She explains that being homeless does not mean sleeping in the streets everyday. Sometimes they stay at friends' houses or move from shelter to shelter. Occasionally they have to sleep in the streets, but the truth is that her life has always been one of uncertainty, not knowing where they would end up sleeping in the short term.
The memories of her father are not pleasant. Her father used to beat Inocente and her siblings. One day she forgot to follow his instructions to ask her mother to make dinner. The man was so mad at her that he hit her several times. Her mother was afraid he might kill Inocente and tried to interfere, which made the guy even more furious. Her mother managed to call the police right before he hit her with the telephone and they came to their rescue. The police arrested her father and he was deported to Mexico.
Inocente did not tell her peers at school that she was homeless because she thought they would make fun of her. She joined a community art group for kids of homeless families. Through art, she channeled her pain and her frustrations. She built a world of intense colors, displaying her dreams on those canvases. Her dedication and passion for art paid off. Eventually, she was invited to fill an art gallery within a 48 hour period for a special exhibition. She did well and sold most of her paintings.
Many times Inocente thought of putting an end to her life, but her resilience won her inner battle. I think Inocente was very brave to share her life story in front of a camera. Watching this documentary opened my mind to the idea of how important it is to provide marginalized kids with educational opportunities, not just in the arts but in many areas. Every kid has unique passions and motivations that deserve to be discovered and cultivated.
Today, one in forty-five kids is homeless. http://www.shineglobal.org/
At times of financial crises, when budgets are cut off, many of these kids may be robbed of the opportunity to change their lives and build a better future. If you think this is important, visit this link to learn more.
Thank you, Inocente, for being so brave and for inspiring people to support the arts in education.
Addendum: I was contacted by Paperblog a few days ago. They asked me to join their community and I agreed. Thank you, Paperblog. It is good to know that you appreciate the content of my blog.
"I confirm the subscription of this blog to the Paperblog service under the username juliaswriting101"