Aspire to Inspire

  • “Aspire to Inspire” raises awareness of the rising number of high school dropouts in hopes to inspire students to stay in school.
  • The Groundswell youth team were asked to depict learning through art.
  • Lead artist DonChristian Jones mixes paint for Community Painting Day participants
  • Youth Artists grid the mural design on the wall before filling in color.
  • There is an “ocean of opportunity” ahead of these bright young people.
  • Our journey of education begins at home.

Project Description

Groundswell, in partnership with Jamaica NeON, engaged youth muralists in the creation of “Aspire to Inspire,” a mural highlighting education as the most crucial step toward success in life.
Groundswell teen mural artists and young adult probation clients collaborated with Lead Artist DonChristian Jones and Assistant Artist Sofia Maldonado, through Groundswell’s paid apprenticeship the Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), to give voice to disconnected youth in South Jamaica to combat the high school dropout crisis.
Following a sequential narrative from left to right, “Aspire to Inspire” unfolds in a series of accessible and engaging visual symbols, beginning with The House of Growth on the left, moving gradually through the Learning Pool in the center, and reaching the Ocean of Opportunity at the right. With a hopscotch course presented on the left hand side, the mural highlights the affirming power of self-discovery through education, creating a sense of agency in young people and empowering them to create their own path to success.

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Project Info

Fun Facts

Fun Fact
The house depicted in the mural is a house from the neighborhood.
Fun Fact
“Aspire to Inspire” is an abbreviated version of the quote “Aspire to Inspire before you Expire!”
Fun Fact
“Community of learners” is PS/IS 116’s motto.