As a kindergarten student, it only took a box of crayons to make a big difference in Susanqi Jiang’s life. It helped her acclimate to the U.S. after moving from China.
“Art immediately began to serve as my language,” Jiang tells Bethesda magazine. “It helped me express myself when words couldn’t.”
Now she aims to give underprivileged youths a creative outlet to help them with their own struggles. Last year the Richard Montgomery High School senior organized a bake sale in her Rockville, Maryland community to raise enough funds to purchase 10,000 crayons that she distributed to an orphanage in Guatemala, a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. and a group that helps rural children in China.
“All kids should be able to color if they want to,” the scholar explained. As a budding artist who paints memories of her native rural China, crayons still have a special meaning. “For me, my love of art really started with crayons,” she recalled.
Since 2011, Jiang has been spreading her love of art through Color a Heart—a nonprofit arts program that she runs with her peers to provide creative opportunities for youths, reports YSA.org. Color a Heart is wide reaching, covering five states.
Additionally, she has organized more than 50 art workshops and provided student-made art to local senior citizens.
Clearly, it’s coloring outside the lines that motivates Jiang to live life and win. For more information on Color a Heart, click HERE.
Below, a video spotlight on Color a Heart: