EL CENTRO- The Pathways to Hope Project invited award winning, abstract artist, Inocente, Saturday morning at the Imperial County CalWorks Building, to host a film screening of her 2012 Academy Award nominated and Oscar winning documentary she self-named, Inocente, followed by an art workshop for the kids.
Inocente is a coming of age story about a 15-year-old undocumented, homeless artist refusing to give up on her dream and attaining her goal amidst the hardships she experienced early in life. The documentary was filmed in 2009, aired in 2012, and won an Oscar for best documentary in 2012.
“I had been homeless for nine years when I attended Camp Hope in 2008 and in the summer of 2009. When things are going bad in my life, I try to paint something happy, that way I feel that if I go back and look at my paintings, I’m not reminded of all the bad things that were happening. It’s Interesting that I get to share my story with the other kids and teens that Camp Hope works with now. I want to inspire them by telling them that I also attended Camp Hope,” affirmed Inocente.
Rosyo Ramirez added, “The purpose of this event is for the kids to see that even if you come from a place that’s really hard that you can still follow your dreams if you really dedicate yourself and surround yourself with the right role models.
“The idea for this project started when we began to notice how kids receiving services at the Family Justice Centers created bonds with each other during camp. They would feel left out when they went back to regular public schools and were no longer surrounded by kids in their same situation. That’s why this year-round mentoring program was created to help maintain a more consistent bond and relationship,” informed Pathways of Hope director, Yesenia Aceves.
“We target any youth that has lived through domestic violence or traumatic experiences. By reaching out to different agencies in the community, we invite kids to instill hope, despite the hardships they have been exposed to, and create opportunities, that things can be different,” explained Department of Social Services Program manager, Rosyo Ramirez.
Utilizing STEAM related activities, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), through support network systems called Hope Circles, the same groups of kids and counselors meet once a month to promote post secondary education. Mentors touch basis with the kids throughout the month to reinforce a positive influence and relationship bond that they may not be getting at home.
The Pathways to Hope Project belongs to Camp Hope America, which works for the umbrella organization Alliance for Hope International to provides technical assistance to open Family Justice Centers around the country and the world.