TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – Las Artes of Pima County: Arts and Education Center is where 19-year-old Marianna Maximo calls home.
“We’re all like family here. I’ve never been close to my teachers and staff the way I have been with them,” Maximo said.
Las Artes gave Maximo a second chance at a secondary education. The program helped her earn her GED while tapping into her creative side.
“I would be really sad not to graduate and drop out, but if I could go back, I don’t think I would change anything,” Maximo said.
Unlike a typical high school, Las Artes gives students time to focus on creative art projects that the whole community can enjoy.
“It’s half a day of academics and half a day of art. It gives them that space to express themselves and be part of something so big,” said Haydee Armenta-Rivera, specialist in awareness of Las Artes.
Student artwork is installed all around Tucson. Murals bring color and creativity to neighborhoods, libraries and other public places.
“A lot of the art you see sprucing up Tucson is done by the kids at Las Artes,” Armenta-Rivera said.
Las Artes helped Maximo gain the confidence to pursue a career. Since graduating this spring, she is already working towards her goals.
“Being here, I’ve learned a lot, changed, grown a lot. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without them,” Maximo said.
Las Artes is currently accepting new student applications. The new session begins on July 25.
Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in May 2018. While pursuing her studies in broadcast journalism, Megan completed an internship at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan via email [email protected] or by logging in on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.