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Although Yair didn’t start coming to HOLA’s Visual Arts program until his senior year of high school, it didn’t take long for him to form a deep connection to the staff and the program. Yair grew up in the neighborhood and used to pass by the HOLA Royale often before finally being pulled in by a friend. He soon found himself completely immersed in all that the Visual Arts Department has to offer. He’s a very talented young artist and when he started to explore his options for life after high school, Visual Arts Director Nara Hernandez and Coordinator Orly Olivier introduced him to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Yair had never heard of Art Center, but was very intrigued at the prospect of attending. He worked with Nara and Orly, a graduate of Art Center, on his portfolio and he not only secured admission, but he was offered a full scholarship. He is currently taking classes at night, focusing on Fine Art, Abstract Art, and Realism. He hopes to build his portfolio and begin attending full time soon.

Even though he is quite busy with his studies, Yair still visits HOLA weekly to volunteer with the younger students. Yair explained that after seeing how much HOLA helped him, he wanted to come back and help HOLA and kids like him. He has participated in several of the program’s art exhibitions and always sets a great example for the students with his passion and enthusiasm. “His art skills come from the streets, but he’s always working on elevating them to a new level and raising the bar,” said Orly, a big fan of his. This summer, Yair will attend the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and participate in a two-week workshop focusing on Sign Design. He will be attending Penland on a full scholarship thanks to the Penland/HOLA student scholarship program funded by Cathy and Alan Adelman.


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