My classroom

I’m Paul Tavarez and I was a student at New Urban Arts. I’ve made a personal donation this year and I’m asking you to help keep New Urban Arts open.

Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher. Maybe like you, I was used to classrooms where students sat in rows looking at teachers for all the answers. As a Dominican boy growing up in inner-city Providence, I thought that’s the way things were.

But New Urban Arts introduced me to the radical possibility of creativity in my education. I signed up for everything, eventually settling on photography and poetry. The artist mentors here changed my self-image. They helped me see that what mattered wasn’t my natural ability, but the effort I put in and the risks I was willing to take.

Now I’m a senior at Grinnell, a college I never dreamed I could afford. I’ve come back and mentored young men in New Urban Arts’ summer program.

And I still want to be a teacher. But instead of my students looking at me for all the answers, New Urban Arts has inspired me to imagine a different classroom.

Please join me in donating to New Urban Arts’ annual campaign. We can’t do this without you. I’m a college student on scholarship aid, I don’t have a lot of money. But I give what I can because I know it matters.

And I hope you will too.


Paul Tavarez