Friday, February 20, 2015
Meet Maria, Proud Parent of Aspiring Performer
Maria is the proud mother of two daughters, Carina and Ariel. Although Carina is too young to participate in the programs at the Cook Arts Center, her sister Ariel, pictured below, is very involved. After living in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood for several years, Maria has reached out to the staff at the Cook Arts Center to let us know how happy she is with our programs and services.
“Ariel has been through a lot in her little lifetime, and the Cook Arts Center makes her feel like she is doing something. The classes make her feel special and worthy. Those are important things to know as a child,” Maria said. “When I was young I felt like what I did didn’t matter, but Ariel looks forward to every day here. It pushes her to do better in everything she does.”
Ariel, a 7-year-old who attends Bursley Elementary School in Jenison, falls in the 85th percentile in school. Although she succeeds academically, her true passion lies in the arts, especially singing, acting, and dancing. At the Cook Arts Center, she attends piano, animal drawing, hip hop, and pottery classes. She told her mom, “I don’t want to be a trash picker or someone who works at a desk all day long. Instead, I want to be a dancer and a performer for my career.”
Maria, who is from Texas, moved around a lot with her parents, who were migrant farm workers. She attended a variety of Grand Rapids Public Schools including Franklin, Hall, and Burton. She also attended GRCC but then became pregnant with her second daughter, Carina. Although Maria needed to take time off to raise her infant, she plans to go back to college.
For fun, the family enjoys attending Grand Rapids First Church, going to the movies, and attending ArtPrize. Their favorite activity when it’s warm is going to Grand Haven to walk on the pier. Maria plans to include Ariel in drop-in programs at the Cook Library Center this summer and looks forward to continuing her relationship with the staff at the Cook Arts Center.
“I tell Ariel that we must try hard in everything we do. We can’t just show up,” Maria said. “That way, at the end of the day, we can say we tried our best.”