SCHOLAR SUCCESS STORIES
We are so proud of the young adults our scholars have become, and we welcome the opportunity to share their stories with you.
Since 2001, Giving Opportunities to Others (GOTO) has enriched the lives of inner city children by providing scholarships to attend immersive arts camps for three consecutive summers. These arts camps provide a welcoming environment where students can develop their raw talents under the guidance of creative professionals and make new friends outside of their inner city neighborhoods. GOTO’s scholars gain confidence, self-esteem and a sense of empowerment through a variety of activities in theater, music, visual and media arts, and dance.
GOTO’s importance isn’t limited to its impact on our kids. The organization is entirely run by volunteers, giving members a unique opportunity to become deeply involved in charity work and give back to their communities. Each of GOTO’s four annual fundraising events offers a remarkable networking opportunity, attracting thousands of young professionals in the New York and Boston areas.
FROM CLEMENTINA NYARKO
GOTO Winter Galas and Halloween Spooktaculars come and go; and we have our personal reasons to attend or volunteer or devote time out of our extremely busy schedules.
But when the time comes when we meet the scholars and their families, and most especially hear personal testimonials from the young scholars themselves – we all come to realize the value of our action and how decisions can influence, and dramatically change many lives.
Clementina Nyarko, a former 3 year scholar, recently wrote a personal letter to share her sincerest gratitude to GOTO NYC for selecting her as a scholar. It’s because of scholars like Clementina that GOTO continues to do what we do best.
Dear GOTO Volunteers,
The other day I realized that for the past 3 years, around this time I would be filling out applications for summer camp. When I had that thought I also realized that if it wasn't for all of you, I would not have had such great opportunities and blessings. It really is amazing what you all do: you give kids like me who don't come from a rich background an opportunity of a life time. You send us to such amazing camps such as Appel Farm and give us a chance to be free from all expectations placed on us at home. While I was at Appel Farm I got the chance to be a kid, make new friends, and even try new things (such as Fashion Design and Photography). I really cannot express enough how grateful and thankful I am for what you have done and given me--especially considering the economic status our country was in awhile ago. This program gave me the chance to grow as a person and even help others to come out of their shell and try new things. This letter does not even come close to the gratitude I owe you. From the bottom of my family, friends and my own heart I really want to say thank you and if there's anything I can do so that another child can have an experience like mine, please let me know. I also hope and pray that all the time and money you spent shall be tripled so that you all can continue to do this for many kids.
Thank you so much! Sincerely,
SPOTLINGHT: ALEX ROSAS
Alex Rosas, a middle school student in New York, was always a shy, quiet kid. That is, until last summer, when he began taking classes in theater and writing at Appel Farm Arts and Music Center.
“This was an amazing opportunity for Alex,” says Laura Rosas, Alex’s mother. “He was very bookish before and he just totally came out of his shell.”
"It was maybe the best experience of my life,” says Alex.
UPDATE FROM GOTO ALUMNUS, KRISTINA WILLIAMS
I attended Appel Farm from 2004-2006, since then I finished high school at Fiorello H. Laguardia H.S. last year, and I am now studying acting and working professionally. In the past year I have been on NBC's 30 Rock, I did a commercial for MTV and Britney Spears for her Radiance fragrance (above). I've also participated in various Off-Broadway productions in Manhattan's Theater District.
THANK YOU GOTO for giving me the opportunity seven years ago. Going to Appel Farm has not only allowed me to meet life long friends, but it also helped me discover who I was as a performing artist!
SPOTLIGHT: VICTOR BURGOS (GOTO PARENT)
As Victor Burgos, the father of a recent GOTO scholar, said at one of our annual events: “Schools have been cutting arts, music, shop – anything that has to do with creativity. When I went to school, you had that, and now that is all disappearing. This program is a way of keeping that alive. It is something that our kids desperately need and it is vital to their enhancement of themselves as creative human beings.”