This article was originally published in the fall 2014 Harker Quarterly.
Avni Barman, grade 12, has founded a successful art therapy program designed to bring the joy of art to local hospitals and homeless shelters.
To date, she has implemented her Art for Recovery Project at the following local organizations: My Friends (a pediatric healthcare center), Regional Medical Center, Family Supportive Housing, as well as the shelters StandUp For Kids and Abode Services.
Barman, who has spent her life immersed in art, made cards for hospital patients and senior homes as a lower and middle school student. She first began to work with patients at Kaiser Hayward in the summer following her sophomore year and typically works with children ages 4-15, who have come to look forward to her visits and special one-on-one time.
Now, Barman is looking to expand the Art for Recovery Project to include more volunteers and implement the program in many Bay Area hospitals and shelters. Her long-term goal is to find other art students who would like to join her in teaching art to the sick and needy in the Bay Area.
“After personally seeing the therapeutic effects of art on patients in hospitals and troubled children in homeless shelters, my goal is to reach every needy shelter in the Bay Area. I welcome like-minded students from the Harker student body (artistic or not) to join me in scaling this program. Harker’s enriching environment has driven me to start something that leverages my passion, while serving the community,” she said.
Barman’s innovative art therapy endeavor was written up in the San Jose Mercury News. To read that story: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_26462913/harker-student-avni-barman-shares-her-passion-art.
For more information or to volunteer with Art for Recovery, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit art4recovery.com. To donate to the Art for Recovery Project, visit piggybackr.com/arttherapy.