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Toby Simon

Toby Simon

Art Education / MA

I have been drawing my whole life. The act of putting pencil to paper has helped me to process all of life’s emotions and experiences. Through dozens of sketchbooks over the years I’ve captured feelings of joy, contentment, moments of innovation and love for family and nature, as well as pain and grief. I feel fortunate that I’ve always had the means to process life’s ups and downs through art as that expression is not only cathartic but empowering. It is my mission to offer others the opportunity to heal and thrive from drawing, just as I did.

As a 3rd year Art Education student I was introduced to Glide Memorial which is a hub for social justice work in San Francisco that provides life-saving services and resources for our un-housed residents. That was the day I understood how I was meant to apply my Art Education degree. There was no existing art program at Glide so I started a weekly class in their parking lot, teaching painting, drawing and ceramics to the city’s most underserved community.

I teach my students by determining their level of understanding and then scaffold the instruction so they can figure out their next step. The biggest impact I hope to make is to impart in the students a growth-mindset; Much of their life revolves around survival and a cycle of abuse, and this program is aimed at emboldening them as they work to learn, develop and share a new skill.

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