- 20 November 2017
- Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman
Something special is happening in Kennedy Heights. Every day, we are seeing evidence of how the arts bring people together, fuel creativity and create a more vibrant neighborhood. Over the next few weeks we will share a few stories that demonstrate this impact – and how you can help.
Lemuel Josiah Hogue – “L.J.” to his friends – first got involved at Kennedy Heights Arts Center at age 9 as a student in our summer arts camp.
L.J. says he was drawn to art from the time he was a young boy. Being dyslexic, he had trouble reading, so his father would read comic books with him and the artwork in the comic books inspired him.
In summer camp, L.J. was able to explore his creative side in many ways – drawing, painting, photography, drumming and more. To be honest, it was a little rough going for L.J. at first as he struggled to stay focused and to connect with peers in a positive way.
But through his years at KHAC, his artistic skills not only grew but his social skills flourished as well, and surprising many, LJ became one of our strongest youth leaders.
In 2012, he was invited by art instructor Cedric Cox to be an intern for our 2-week Camp Create which he did for several years, assisting instructors and younger students. Then, in 2015, L.J. approached us about volunteering at the arts center all summer long. I said “Are you sure about this? Working with kids all day, every day can be tiring.”
But L.J. was determined. Over the course of the summer, he volunteered nearly 200 hours working with more than 100 campers. L.J. brought so much to our summer camp program. His joyful, positive demeanor towards campers, staff, and volunteers brightened each day while his confidence and responsibility for camp procedures helped all of the little details fall into place.
Last year, L.J. graduated from Roger Bacon High School and went on to college – where he’s studying to be a teacher at Ohio State University. A student who once struggled, L.J. became a role model for others.
We invite you to join us in our mission by becoming a community builder with a tax-deductible donation to Kennedy Heights Arts Center. Your contribution helps ensure that 100% of our programs are accessible to everyone regardless of income.