From FASTAP Students/Parents:

Kellin (YMCA): "I enjoyed painting the mural, and learned how important it was to help out the community."

Luna (YMCA): I enjoyed taking pictures with the camera and painting the mural. I learned how to work together and [the importance of] sportsmanship."

YES Prep Students: "It's an environment that makes us feel like we're at home and that we can be ourselves. I like that we're able to add our own personality into what we're doing."

Deshawn (Agape Development): “I like that we work together and that we do different things for the community.”

Tess Coleman (Agape Parent): "It keeps [my kids] motivated, keeps them going, and gives them something to do... something positive to do."

Kelyn (Change Happens): "I am happy about the accomplishment I have made. This will help me in the future to not be afraid. This was a great experience.”

Jaelyn (Change Happens):  “I really learned how when we come together as one we can make great things happen.”

Jasmine (Change Happens):  “We need to start getting out instead of staying stationary. We need more commitment and focus.”

Bethany: “It’s been an inspirational experience for me”

Liseth: “It helped me to see how art can make a positive difference in the community”

Niara (Marshall Middle School):

“Dear Madam, dear Sir, We are a group that is very passionate about our community and we seek your help. In our mission to improve our community, we understand collaboration. Your contribution would be invaluable. And in helping us, you are joining the circle and collaboration. Together we can go far. Thank you for whatever magnanimous contributions you can offer.”

From FASTAP Contributors/Partners:

Noel Bezette-Flores, Ph.D., community developer, educator, mentor:

  • “The FASTAP program aligns educational learning outcomes with leadership skills and personal development in a project-oriented, experiential environment. It is real world and creates an atmosphere that encourages students to come up with creative solutions to complex societal problems; while building on sustainable strengths in their community. When I see the students connect to the curriculum and reframe their thinking about who they are based on this new information and experiences it makes me hopeful for the future.”

Marjon Aucoin, Little Wonders Learning Center educator, school administrator & art director, visual artist, illustrator, mentor:

  • "The Space to a Place Program has inspired a movement within our school. We believe that our teachers, parents, and community play a vital role in the education of our students. The Space to a Place Program has strengthened that connection for us and created a platform for our students to take ownership and leadership in the community."

Bill Flores, President of the University of Houston Downtown:

  • “The program ignites imagination, filling the participants with creative energy, generating art to fill the empty spaces of communities and lifting their souls. College students are guided to help high school and middle school students, leaders train leaders, and all find within them and hone talents they never knew existed--a fabulous success!”

Carroll Parrott Blue, South East Alliance Transformation:

  • “The Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance (SEHTA) and the Agape Foundation’s after school program has had the great fortune to work this fall 2015 with TFAA program director Karine Parker-Lemoyne, educator Noël Bezette-Flores, photographer Johnny Hanson and others from the “From a Space to a Place” (FASTAP) program. This well-planned and prior tested program clearly understands how young people think so that they learn by doing. I have witnessed excited youth so absorbed in fun that they do not realize that their activities empower them to gain the leadership skills that help them reimagine and improve the public spaces of their community.

Priscilla Kennedy, LMSW, AmeriCorps DOI VISTA, OST/South Union GO Neighborhood, Neighborhood Recovery Community Development Corp.:

  • Our FASTAP project engaged youth ages 13-17 in OST/South Union to contribute to social and economic aspects of community building and transformation. During dynamic weekly sessions, the students used visual and performing arts, STEM, project management, mind mapping, ecology, and critical thinking as tools to envision an urban art installation that will have a positive, long-term impact on the OST/South Union community.

  • The Youth Council’s “space to a place” will be the creation of a mural in a prominent location that combines elements such as inspirational words and poetry, a glimpse of "their world" in the form of graphic depictions of distinctive places in the community, and colors that the youth have identified as symbolic of themselves; for example, purple- royalty, green- active/ sporty, red- strength. We believe the youth's transformation of an empty space into a place that was created by their own minds and hands sparked a transformation within the youth themselves, instilling a deeper understanding and appreciation of the responsibility they have to their unique slice of the world.