LYNN (CBS) – It’s artwork that’s big, bold and vibrant, and done by local high school students with the goal of improving themselves, and beautifying the community.
The after school program in Lynn is called “Good 2 Go.” For the young people, the art is vital, but it’s only one part of the plan.
The first thing that hits you when you walk into Raw Art Works in Lynn is the passion for the work, the bright colors and the teamwork.
“One thing this group really does is bring together individuals and test us, and push us to be together,” says Joshua Bonifaz, one of the young artists here.
It’s all part of the Good 2 Go program. “This program was started under the idea that there just aren’t enough resources for young, teenage males,” says Bruce Orr, who runs the program.
Every year nine students are hired to work with the community to create public art, murals prominently displayed around Lynn. Each young person is paid for his work. “They become part of something that serves a greater purpose,” Orr says.
The young people meet directly with businesses and non-profits who want a mural, research their needs and deliver the finished product. It’s project management, in a nutshell.
“It’s getting people ready for real life. The artwork is a vehicle to self-expression. The artwork is a vehicle to communication. The artwork is a vehicle to building self-esteem,” says Orr.
“They actually put a vision in my head. You have to go to college because you have talent,” says Raymond Carela, a member of the program.
“It’s definitely something really different. I’ve really been able to communicate with people more,” adds Austin Jagodynski, another artist.
Almost all the kids who participate in Good 2 Go graduate from high school, and almost all of them go on to college or career training. “We set the bar high for excellence, and we set the bar high for excellence because they are capable of that,” Orr says.
The community is better for it. “We’re just trying to beautify the area and bring culture and life to it,” says Angel Deleon, a high school junior.
And all the young people learn about all they can do. “Honestly, I think without Raw I wouldn’t be in the state I am today. Really happy and knowing where I’m going in the future.”
Even though Good 2 Go is for guys, Raw Art Works has plenty of other programs for teenage girls.