Economic disparity, lack of equal access, broken homes, lack of self-confidence, lack of self-love, stuck in a cycle of poverty. These are just a few of the challenges our youth face daily.
New Look fosters an environment for innovative change, offering a Four-Year After-school Leadership Academy that empowers underserved students to break the chains. 100% of these students graduate high school on time.
This month, in celebration of Georgia Gives Day, we’re excited to announce a new partnership with Innovative Supplies. This cutting-edge school supply company has granted two New Look students the opportunity to design notebooks for the #BreakTheChains collection. With your donation to New Look’s youth leadership programs, you will receive one #BreakTheChains notebook and one will be donated to a youth. 100% of proceeds benefit Usher’s New Look programs for high school through college students in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit and New York. As a socially conscious individual, you are doing good in your community, while transforming the life of a teen.
Click HERE to make your #BreakTheChains donation. Check out the interview below to meet Markeita & Harley, the New Look student artists behind this campaign.
#BreakTheChains: Meet the Artists, Markeita Bratcher & Harley Vinsonhaler
How do you define spark?
Markeita: A spark is your talent. It is a skill or activity that you’re passionate about.
Harley: I define my spark as my talent and what I love to do. I also plan on making it my career in the future.
What is your spark?
Markeita: Graphic design and poetry.
Harley: My spark is graphic design
Give some examples of how UNL has helped you towards your spark?
Markeita: When I first joined the organization, I filled out a Spark Assessment worksheet and that helped me narrow down my skills and passions. After filling that out, UNL has given me many different opportunities over the years to confidently showcase my spark, like this one.
Harley: The biggest example of how UNL helped me was creating designs for the Start The Spark Signature Event. I was also able to network and create cover art for UNL alum, Jasmine Pollard, for one of her songs.
What advice do you have for young people or people in general who feel like they can’t create change?
Markeita: I would say that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. If you’re passionate about something, do whatever it takes to make that change. Utilize the resources that you have and be confident in your ability to achieve what you want. Never for a second think that you can’t do it because you most certainly can.
Harley: I would tell them that there’s always a way to create change. It’s not just about protesting, it’s about letting your voice be heard. Either by social media, hanging posters up around the town that you live in, starting organizations, etc. There are many more things you can do to create change.
How would you say New Look helps youth “break the chains”?
Markeita: New Look helps youth “break the chains” by helping them realize their full potential and providing them with the necessary skills and resources to make a positive impact not only for themselves, but also for their community. The organization allows young people to have open discussions about problems that are happening in the world and helps them figure out effective ways to fix those problems using their leadership skills and talent.
Harley: UNL helps break chains by bringing out their students’ talents and encouraging them to keep going. They also help them find their “spark” if a student thinks he/she does not have one.
How does it make you feel to be able to use your spark to give back to UNL and provide school supplies to other students?
Markeita: It feels amazing. I’m glad I can be the face behind a design that is going to be on notebooks for young people to see. My artwork has a strong message and it’s great that it’s getting some exposure.
Harley: Using my spark to help provide school supplies for students is absolutely amazing. I know that there are tons of students who walk into school and don’t have anything.
Donate and Receive a Notebook by Making a $20 Donation HERE