Four students from Holy Name Convent were selected to represent the school at an art workshop, of which other schools had also been invited. These students were specially chosen, and all accepted the invitation. The workshop was called ‘Broken to Beautiful’ and was held by a group of people called ‘Chosen Hands’. They are a non-profit art and wellness program, founded by Anika Plowden Corentin, who was also the host of the event. The program’s aim is to nurture, empower and transform the lives they encounter.

Chosen Hands with St. Jude’s Home for Girls

When asked to describe the event, students said the main themes were gender positivity and women empowerment. Artists and activists were there to assist with the event, discuss with the students, and share their own experiences. Students involved were educated on topics such as mental and verbal abuse, gender stereotypes, and how to deal with misogyny. “Speak up and Speak out”, was the main message they aimed to get across.

The speakers gave speeches on the above topics, highlighting the importance of “Speaking up and Speaking out”. The students attending were then invited to create an art piece on what they took away from what was discussed.

Artwork inspired by the topics discussed

Students stated they enjoyed the event, and if given the chance, would like to go again. They enjoyed the freedom they were given as they were allowed to “interpret what was said however we wanted to“, as said by one student. Students also enjoyed the atmosphere created, as it “wasn’t really tense“.

The students were asked if the event exceeded their expectations. One student declared it was above their expectations. They were impressed by the way the speakers included everyone and spoke about the way the topics affected not only women and girls, but boys and men as well.

The Holy Name students thoroughly enjoyed the event, and only wished the event had lasted longer so that the speakers could have gone more in-depth, which would have allowed the students to interact with each other, the speakers, and their art more.

Photos taken from Trinidad Guardian “Chosen Hands empowers through art with support from bmobile Foundation” article and from student submissions.