Aliyah Williams

University of Denver - 2021

“The arts has always been a passion of mine ever since I was a child. From painting to drawing and even sculpting, I fell in love with the idea of expressing myself through colors, shapes, and textures, which allows me to delve deeper within myself, to then further my passions and desires to change the world. Growing up, my parents constantly argued. As I sat through the yelling and screaming of my parents arguing with each other, art was always there to help me cope with my family’s struggles. As I sit in my room with the door closed to block out the yelling, my hand holds a pencil as my wrist swiftly moves, making different strokes and lines to produce flowers, stick figures, and other characters in my imaginative mind. However, as time went on, I had to set my passion for art behind in order to help my mom with the chores and bills that could help us live a sustainable life. I soon discovered that my dirty hands, once covered in paint and marker stains, were now doing dishes, folding laundry, and clicking numbers into the calculator as I helped my mom pay the bills. Similarly to how art became a less prominent part in my life, the arts are taught less in many schools’ academic curriculum. Instead of students articulating their creativity through painting, music, or drama, they are instead writing essays, lab reports, and completing math projects. While these topics are required to be successful in college, having more art related classes will allow students to relax and find new talents that the STEM and English courses cannot provide. Not only do I want to encourage the arts in more schools, but I also want to rekindle my love for creativity as well.”