By Stephen Guzman
This August, SAY Sí celebrates 23 seniors graduating from its programs with two virtual experiences for the public: Fragments, SAY Sí’s Senior Thesis Exhibition, and HelloGoodbye, A Virtual Graduation Ceremony.
The Senior Thesis Exhibition, Fragments, is available for viewing now at bit.ly/saysifragments. Celebrating the culminating works of graduating senior-artists, this exhibition showcases the class of 2020’s skills as multidisciplinary artists and diverse storytellers. Mediums chosen include painting, photography, sculpture, film, animation and other creative processes.
On Friday, August 14, 2020, at 7 pm, SAY Sí will host HelloGoodbye, a virtual graduation ceremony available for viewing on SAY Sí’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. Affirming SAY Sí’s commitment to mentorship, reciprocal learning and long-term support, this annual tradition honors the accomplishments of the graduating seniors and also celebrates the graduating class from our middle school students many of which are continuing on to our high school programs.
With the influence of COVID-19 in San Antonio, SAY Sí adjusted its creative programs to connect with youth virtually. Since March, all senior work has been completed from home with supplies/materials provided by SAY Sí and guidance from teaching-artist mentors.
“Amidst our current reality, this year we worked virtually and from home to make this show happen,” says Julia Mahavier, SAY Sí senior-artist, age 18. “it’s all still so unreal, but seniors – all from different walks of life and telling different stories – defied the halts and came together to do what we do best, create.”
As part of the SAY Sí program, seniors also receive support in completing artists’ statements, organizing portfolios, applying for financial aid and completing multiple college applications – all to ensure that they are prepared for success after SAY Sí.
This year’s graduates come from 18 San Antonio high schools. They will continue their education in places like Oberlin College, Tufts University, DePaul University as well as many schools in the University of Texas network and Alamo Community College District. In total, SAY Sí’s 2020 graduating class has earned over $1.3 million in scholarship and aid so far.
Founded in 1994, SAY Sí is a national award-winning, art-based nonprofit youth development program located in San Antonio, Texas. The goal of the organization is to provide San Antonio area students in grades 6-12 with the opportunity to develop artistic and social skills in preparation for higher educational advancement and career building. SAY Sí programs serve over 200 students from all of San Antonio’s school districts – in addition to serving 3,000 youth in community programs. SAY Sí’s unique approach to education has placed the organization on the national stage, with recognition as one of the top out-of-school-time organizations in the country by The Wallace Foundation, as well as serving as one of seven international youth arts organizations chosen to receive an inaugural Creative Catalyst Award by Adobe Project 1324 in 2016. For more information, visit www.saysi.org.