Araceli Campos ’16 is a senior studio arts major. She is the recipient of the CFA Council Scholarship, the Kalin Hart Talbott Art Scholarship, the Kate Micucci Art Scholarship and the Rudinica Family Art Scholarship. Araceli was also the winner of the CFA Mystery Box Challenge. She shared this first-hand perspective of her college experience and the impact of her scholarships.
My name is Araceli Campos and I am a senior at Loyola Marymount University studying studio arts with an emphasis in art education and a minor in secondary education. I plan to graduate in spring 2016 and then hope to return to LMU to pursue a master’s degree in early childhood education.
Thank you for the CFA Council Award. I am truly humbled to be considered for this honor. The CFA Council Award will enable me to continue to develop as a whole person and build a legacy that inspires individuals to be with and for others. Through the CFA Council Award, I can seek more opportunities at LMU and help alleviate my parent’s financial burden. While their unrelenting commitment has given me the chance to be an LMU student, we still struggle financially.
I am an active citizen on campus. I am a member of the eco students club and, monthly, I visit the LMU sustainable garden and help prune weeds, harvest cilantro as well as other duties. In doing so, I have learned about sustainable agriculture and I have contributed to the environment of LMU’s campus. I also worked as the student representative on the LMU Children’s Center Advisory Board, speaking with student caregivers and listening to their suggestions to make the Children’s Center thrive. In addition, I am a CFA Student Peer Mentor- I have a mentee who I support in an informal setting and advise. The professors have also helped me further develop as an artist and as a result, I have had the chance to display my work in the Laband Art Gallery as well as the web-based art gallery, Colors of Humanity.
In addition, I am an active member of the Belles service organization — a group of 50 women who promote social justice across diverse communities through direct service in domestic violence awareness advocacy. As a Belle, I serve on campus as well as in the L.A. community. Within the LMU community, I help host events such as Domestic Violence Awareness month in October and Teen Dating Violence Awareness in February to bring attention to these prevalent social justice issues. I also help with on campus events such as Family Weekend, the annual blood drive, and I often work as an usher for the weekly mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel. Off campus, I go to sites such as the Richstone Family Center, Good Shepherd Shelter, the Lange Animal Shelter, and Bread and Roses Homeless Cafe. These service sites have taught me to truly acknowledge people and living beings rather than seeing them as an abused child, a shelter dog, or a homeless man.
I am also a member of ARTsmart — the Art Department’s community service program which provides hundreds of K-8 students with visual-art lessons — and I have had the opportunity to teach a unit of lessons that I designed to focus on using art to understand issues around homelessness. I challenge the students to think about social justice issues in their community and to connect it to larger, global issues. My volunteer work in ARTsmart has strengthened my interest in working with students of all ages to foster 21st century skills, such as reflection and creativity, empathizing with the marginalized, and creating art that calls for transformative social change.
In addition, I was able to participate in a week-long artist residency at the Hoopa Valley Elementary School with a heterogeneous group of faculty and students in the Art and Art Therapy Department from LMU and UCLA. I traveled to the Hoopa Valley Reservation and taught art lessons in collaboration with art therapists. The Native American children created a community art impact project focused on their spiritual connection with the local river and their place in the community.
My education has allowed me to connect my volunteer work with my career goals. I continue to further in my development of the whole person as I seek opportunities where I can work with the marginalized and translate those experiences into art.
My family, and especially my parents, has been supportive of my educational efforts. My father and mother emigrated from Mexico so they could live in “a land of opportunity.” It is because of their struggles and unwavering determination that I am blessed to be on LMU’s campus. My father, a man of few words, once open-heartedly shared with me that, as a child, he wanted to become a teacher but understood that would not be possible, so he pursued a career as a landscaper. My mother, an inspiring and hardworking woman, worked as a housekeeper when she first emigrated and later became an award-winning national sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. Their work ethic, strength, and resolve has inspired me to challenge myself and to seek out opportunities full heartedly.