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Local girl is on a mission

Recent college grad looks to community in helping Nigerian kids discover art

Megan Ambrosino, 22, is heading to Nigeria to teach art at an all-girls boarding school. She is looking locally for art supply donations.

Megan Ambrosino, 22, is heading to Nigeria to teach art at an all-girls boarding school. She is looking locally for art supply donations. Submitted Photo

— “After that experience I was like, ‘OK, that was way too short of a time to spend in Africa.’ I wasn’t sure how, but I definitely wanted to go back at some point because I wanted to spend more time with the kids,” she said.

When she graduated SUNY New Paltz in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in visual arts education, she wanted to immediately find some work in Africa. She searched for different programs she felt comfortable with and, although it took longer than she had initially planned, she finally found the Notre Dame Mission Volunteer Program.

“When I finally found this one, I was like, ‘Alright, I have to do it,’” she said.

Ambrosino has also student taught in Australia, where she studied abroad, and in New York City. But her passion keeps pulling her towards Africa. All of the classes she’ll be involved in are taught in English, and although she will be going alone, she will be living at the boarding school.

“I’m not sure what kind of art projects they’ll be doing … how they’re going to express themselves, based on the experiences they’ve had in their lives,” she said. “I’m really hoping to focus on letting them tell their story and letting them show me who they are.”

Once she’s completed her mission, Ambrosino said she plans on bringing home some of the students’ artwork to show to her future classrooms.

“I want to bridge the connection of cultures through art. That’s my life goal,” she said.

To donate supplies, email Ambrosino at ambrosinomegan@gmail.com. Monetary donations may be made to Notre Dame Mission Volunteer Program, 5405 Loch Raven Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21239, or at ndmva.org/donate/index.htm.

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