100%

funded

Total loan: $8,500

Rhonda

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Rocky Mount, NC, United States / Arts

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A loan helped a black woman-owned business grows and impact the local economy by providing jobs.


Rhonda's story

I grew up in rural Northeast North Carolina and spent part of my childhood in the foster care system beginning at the age of 13. My love for art has become a healing force that kept me through the dark times of my youth. I could sit alone for hours drawing and creating an escape from the unkind parts of life. The therapeutic connection to creating art became my passion to share with others, as I pursued two degrees in Visual Studies and became an Art Educator. After teaching for 10+ years in a K-12 Art classroom, I got to learn firsthand the challenges and joys of teaching. Through those years I bonded with colleagues during football games, after-school meetings, parent-teacher conferences. We were there for one another, as we worked to provide the best educational experience possible for our students and their families. Before you know it, my work team became my family. We leaned on each other to balance the stresses of teaching. Currently, I support new teachers across the state, and from this perspective, I see that the responsibilities of a teacher are not minimizing but increasing daily. These added responsibilities leave educators emotionally drained and in need of a way to rejuvenate their creative minds and relieve some stress. Through my business, I have the opportunity to meet the dynamic needs of educators by providing personalized art therapy sessions. An "unwind and design" time to discuss the cares of the day or to forget the day. An art party is a perfect way to get the team together for flexible professional development or for staff appreciation. I take pride in providing a personalized experience for educators and I will be even more enthused to expand my business to impact training and employment opportunities as well.