“I feel like I’ve developed a sense of purpose to help the people I work with feel happy and to accomplish their goals,” says Helene Lovett, a senior at Lusher Charter School.

Lovett was a board member of Teenboard, a student led arts outreach initiative at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, where she was involved with Open Stage Nights, Arts Workshops, and other events open to teenagers in the New Orleans Community.

Volunteering with Teenboard, Lovett was able to share her enthusiasm for the arts with other high school teens across the city. Being able to meet many different talented artists within the New Orleans Community was a great experience for her.

“When not involved in the community, the circle of people you interact with is small and claustrophobic,” she says. “I think it’s important to expand that circle through community service so that you engage with all sorts of people with different experiences. In the process, you strengthen the bonds that hold the community together.”

With Teenboard, Lovett volunteers for the annual Teen Art Exhibition. The event sends out a call for submissions from teen artists, selects artworks from the submissions, then curates and helps build the physical exhibition. Lovett was able to design and build the exhibition for the past two years.

Susan Gingold, Lovett’s science teacher, has inspired and supported her throughout her time at Lusher.

“I’ve worked with Ms. Gingold to create a number of science opportunities for my peers at Lusher Charter School,” says Lovett. “She has encouraged me to execute my ideas for community-building. I’m inspired by Ms. Gingold’s fearlessness when it comes to taking on challenges and trying new experiences.”

At Lusher, Lovett is involved in the National Honor Society, where she has tutored other students in physics, biology, and U.S. History. After she graduates from Lusher she wants to continue creating and participating in outreach initiatives in science and the arts.