HABLA Youth Mentoring

January 2007 – December 2011. For five years, from January 2007 to December 2011, I mentored and taught art to local youth in my Chinatown art studio.  I called the project HABLA: Harvesting Asian Black Latino Artists and ran it as a grassroots nonprofit. The work involved my hosting of educational discussions, junior board meetings, art workshops, student exhibitions, poetry readings, field trips and guest lecturers for the youth. (Scroll down to view the education plan I designed and used for the youth.)

At the nearby Ramón C. Cortines, Visual and Performing Arts High School (VAPA), I mentored teenagers, during school hours. Part of the mentoring at the high school involved my hosting art shows of the students’ work in the basement gallery of my art studio. This was exciting for the students, because my art studio was located on the main strip (Chung King Road) of the Chinatown art gallery district. I also brought to VAPA motivational guest speakers, all highly accomplished in their fields, some celebrities. They gave talks to the teens, during group assemblies, about their  careers and the steps they took to reach their goals. I also gave educational talks and performed Song of Che Chango at VAPA student assemblies.

For a photo album of the HABLA adult collaborative, click here. Otherwise, scroll down for photos of my work mentoring the youth,

SLIDE SHOW: My Chinatown, L.A. Youth Mentoring Program, Los Angeles, Jan 2007- Dec 2011

Education Plan by Lili Bernard for Chinatown, L.A. Youth Mentoring

Four A Squares Model: Arts, Academics And  Achievement





Molding paths towards successful careers through Arts, Academics And Achievement 

Arts: Visual & Performing Arts are necessary components in life and society.

Academics: Education is empowering. Most successful careers begin with academics. 

And: Combining Arts and Academics for success in all aspects of life, professionally and emotionally, is highly useful.

Achievement: Setting and achieving concrete step-by-step goals is imperative.

Goals: Goals are set via a monthly program. Each month has a theme. The following are examples of monthly goals.

  1. Formulating of questions and writing of essays for the month’s guest speakers. Essays will be graded by English teacher for classroom extra credit.
  2. Writing a critical and publishable a paper, via the conducting of research, on the month’s theme. Students will present the work as extra credit for English, Social studies, Art and History classes.
  3. Participation in art workshops led by professional artists, where the goal of the workshop is the completion of a work of art (visual or performance), focused on the month’s artistic theme.
  4. Submersion into the so-called mainstream art world via exposure of the aforementioned artwork in monthly art exhibitions and performances at Lili Bernard Art Studio and the HABLA Underground, located in Chinatown’s art gallery row. Student performances and exhibitions will be timed with other art gallery openings and Downtown/Chinatown Art District Quarterly Art Walks.
  5. Preparing for college and graduate school entrance and retention.