Cocoa and Canvases: PEAK Pairs Spend Saturday Morning with Bottle and Bottega

A December Saturday morning filled the cafeteria of Holy Trinity High School with playful, creative energy as eighty PEAK mentors and scholars shared a one-of-a-kind artistic experience facilitated by local art instructors from Bottle and Bottega.


For many of the teens and adults, this was the first time they had tried their hand at working with brushes and acrylics. Each pair worked together on a painting of a winter scene.


As the pairs sipped their hot chocolate, the artistic collaborations (and, invariably, some of the unexpected results) triggered lots of laughs as well as proud smiles that will surely become the treasured memories and build trust and confidence.


Mentor-scholar activities like this one are a key aspect of PEAK’s mentoring program. They guarantee 12-16 hours every year that each scholar will spend with his or her PEAK mentor engaged in a learning or cultural experience. These opportunities to expand horizons and stretch comfort zones are foundational to building the deep, one-on-one mentoring relationships that are the key to PEAK’s success.


The crowd wrapped up the morning by clapping loudly for their favorite of three finalists for best winter scene. An eruption of cheers for the painting by PEAK sophomore Alex and his mentor-for-a-day Keenan Lantz secured their first place win of a $500 contribution to Alex’s PEAK-a-thon fundraising page.


The biggest winners, though, were all the participants, who went home with the knowledge that they could be vulnerable enough with their mentor or with their scholar to try something unfamiliar. Though the day began with many participants doubtful about their artistic abilities, all found that by putting in a good faith effort and working together under the supportive guidance of our instructors, they were able to produce paintings as special and individual as each mentor-scholar relationship.


Interested in volunteering as a mentor-for-a-day? Contact PEAK Program Manager Anthony Bolden at abolden@peakchicago.org.



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Partnership to Educate and Advance Kids   1443 W Division St. Chicago, IL 60642   (773) 235-8003