CLEVELAND — Dozens of teen in the Glenville neighborhood are creating a mural to show the rich history of the neighborhood.
"it's helped me come out of my shell,” said student Olivia Meade.
"We had an actual business meeting with people who own this building, to actually paint this mural," said Jazae Smith.
From their hands, to the heart of Glenville. The art will feature Langston Hughes and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
"This wasn't something I assigned them, this was something that we designed together," said Master Teaching Artist Shelly Svonavec.
The idea has already inspired them.
"I plan on going into animation, like Pixar and Disney," said Meade.
“I'm really enjoying this program. Its teaching me a lot of life skills," said student Lissan Aklog.
Center for Arts Inspired Learning gathered teen apprentices at its Glenville Arts Campus and paid them.
"Anyone looking at the mural can feel represented," said Svonavec.
The career readiness program paints them as future business owners.
"I’ve done things I thought I’d never do before, like I’ve presented in front of people,” said Meade.
Meade is one of 85 students who have spent the summer here. Students drew up a business model and pitched designs - even marketed themselves as professional artists.
"It's good to have, because it makes you have the upper hand against some of your classmates. You feel like you're better prepared,” said Smith.
This story is part of
A Better Land,
an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us