Read our students success stories

Meet Jorge – a statement at 16 yrs. old

I learned so much from Arts for a Better Tomorrow; about myself and realized that I can always pick myself up after I fall and keep going. That falling is alright, and I can’t be too hard on myself. I use it to move forward a stronger man for my family and me.

“ABT opened my eyes when I didn’t want to open them anymore because of all the bad things I have seen and been through.”

I want to introduce the younger kids in my neighborhood to the tools I learned through acting. So they can help me to change Maclovio Rojas into a better place that is safer than what it is now. Arts for a Better Tomorrow opened my eyes when I didn’t want to open them anymore because of all the bad things I have seen and been through. ABT helped me feel what was going on inside me, my emotions. I found out it is OK to feel, to cry, and let it out; that is what makes me a man that I can know I have feelings and want to do something about it. So I don’t go down the wrong path like my father did. And now, my little brother and sister want to take the classes. Even my mom too!  Thank you, and I can’t wait to be a teacher with ABT. I will go to college and study psychology.

Meet Belem – a statement at 16 yrs. old

When I arrived at the class, like other teens my age, I didn’t want to be noticed. I was bullied for many years in school because I wore black clothes and wouldn’t talk to anyone. The ABT class has shown me so much like how to meditate to calm those thoughts that tell me I’m not enough. I discovered there are feelings in me; I didn’t even know I had. There is a way out. Life is beautiful. People can actually care for me, and that makes me care for them.

After three months of taking the Arts for a Better Tomorrow classes, I learn something really important, I learn how to feel again. And that is something I know I would not have learned in school. I want to live, I want to be here. I now feel alive, and I don’t feel like I just am going through every day just to get through it.

I feel stronger even when bad things still happen, and they will happen, but I know I am worth fighting for me to be the best me, to be the best Belem I can be. That is my role, and I will play it better than anyone else. I will study psychology in the university, and I will help girls my age who are going through what I went through so they can also know there is a way to come out ahead. 

Belem is now on ABT’s Tijuana Youth Program Development Committee, and she doing great in High School. She wants to pursue university studies in the future to become a psychologist and help teen girls struggling with destructive thoughts and behaviors.

More from our students

“Before Arts for a Better Tomorrow came to my school, I didn’t think anyone cared. I feel like teachers already gave up on me. We didn’t have cool classes like the “Breaking Barriers” acting class, and I had no idea that through this class, I would be able to meet someone in Tijuana at an orphanage without leaving the US. I now realize they go through the same struggles that I do here, and I’m in the US. They have dreams the same way we do here, and that makes me feel like I’m not alone.”
-Adolfo, 17 yrs. old, Highland Park Continuation High School, USA

“Since taking these classes, I learned to get along with the other kids here at the orphanage, I don’t fight so much anymore. I still get upset sometimes when someone does something to annoy me, but I learned to have more control over my emotions. And I learned that I’m fine the way I am, I am enough the way I am, no one can take that away from me. I am Lily. I have no idea I could learn this from acting …”                        
-Liliana, 14 to 16 yrs. old, City of Angels orphanage, Tijuana, Mexico

“Taking these classes, I learned to value what I have. That my school education is important to my future, I learned to respect others even in my school and to respect and accept myself and my actions. I learned that my future is important. That I am important. I learned through meeting Adolfo in Highland Park high from the other side (USA) that we are all the same, and he encourages me to go back to school when I dropped out. I now have a friend there.  I will stay in school and continue to take the ABT classes, I want to see what else acting will teach me about myself.”    
-Jorge, 14 to 17 yrs. old, Maclovio Rojas, Tijuana, Mexico

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