“It’s not so bad, but I can still get better.” – Sonia Larry
Sonia Larry grew up in Flint, Michigan as the oldest of five siblings. “I was blessed,” as Sonia describes her childhood with the best Christmases and lots of presents. Because she was the eldest, Sonia could hardly go out and had the responsibility of looking after her brothers and sisters while her parents worked. She grew up wanting to become a lawyer to fight cases and was passionate about law. Unfortunately, at the age of fourteen, Sonia was pregnant and focused on taking care of her child as best as she could. Child birth was her most painful moment and she described it as “no pain like any other.” Sonia believes that happiness is just for the moment and gets you caught up in things, but believes she has a joy that will always be inside her. She is grateful for everything that life has brought her, for being alive, and the word of God. “Mother is ‘up there,’ my ex-boss is also ‘up there.’’ Sonia says the most important person to her, she believes, is the God inside of her; He is the greatest significance. Her advice to those who struggle as a teenager is to pray to Jesus and to do greater things, because with God she is able to still live life.
Maria "Kirby", 16
Dreams of being a music producer
Important influence: Family and friends
Grateful for: Being blessed with so many opportunities
As I heard Brian Peterson describe his experience with the homeless and how by painting them it brought a sense of joy to both him and the homeless, I began to take interest. Through painting, I was able to define a person’s character and it made me realize how each and every one of us is incomparable and unique. Painting Sonia wasn't just a class I took every Saturday, it was an experience I was able to learn from. Sonia’s personality is warm and bright, loving and soothing, caring and helping. The colors in my painting greatly describe her character. I am very lucky and grateful I was provided with such an opportunity that allowed me to do what I love while giving back to those who are in need.