Yanlexis Arizaga started the Hopeworks program because she was highly motivated to find work. Being her mother’s right hand woman, she felt the pressure as the oldest daughter in a Hispanic household to support her family both inside and outside of the house. Yanlexis also grew up in a home where she worried about the physical and emotional safety of herself as well as the safety of her mother and siblings. Yanlexis has displayed great resilience and continues to turn her adversity into motivation for success.
For Yanlexis, being at Hopeworks has not only been about earning money to support her family, but also about taking steps toward independence so that she has control over her life and what happens to her. Yanlexis learned about Hopeworks through the Superintendent of Camden Schools, Paymon Rouhanifard. In addition to finishing the training, she is also a student in the Entrepreneurship class as one of her many dreams is to have her own business. Upon finishing the training, Yanlexis was just hired as an intern at Urban Promise as a Technology Instructor. She hopes to have the opportunity to teach art at Urban Promise as well. Her dream and purpose in life is to lead and create. Yanlexis strives to have the financial security and creative independence that will help her tell her story and motivate others through her artwork.
Portrait by Yanlexis, done with acrylic and spray paint.
Inspired by Billie Holiday’s Lady Day album cover.