Alumni Stories: “Where Are They Now?”

A teenage Pelrine pictured at AFH.

“I think that’s really what ultimately ended up making me stay [at AFH] — the warmth of the people and how — I know how corny this sounds — but how genuinely like family it was.”

Pelrine, with Rob Gibb, working in the Painting Studio at AFH.
One of Pelrine’s works from the Painting Studio at AFH.

“The big scary adults — they want to hear from you. They want to hear what you have to say, they want to hear about your experiences.”

One of Pelrine favorite projects at AFH was a collaboration with Converse Shoes. She recalls the day that Swat [Jason Talbot, AFH Co-Founder and Deputy Director] brought them to the Converse Headquarters where they learned about jobs available in the arts and introduced the project collaboration. Kicking off the project in the AFH studio, Pelrine remembers, “They rolled out these really long canvases that went from one end of the [AFH Painting] Studio to the other, and they told us to go nuts!” The unstructured nature of the project allowed for Pelrine and her fellow teens to put all their different art styles on one canvas. Seeing how they blended together was Pelrine’s favorite part.

Converse collaboration.
Pelrine’s first expensive painting that sold.

“If Lesley [Kantlehner] hadn’t pushed me to join organizations like Bottom Line, I might not have ended up in college at all.”

Pelrine pictured as an adult.
Pelrine working with other teens in the AFH Studio.

“In a short period of time, they have impacted so many people and so many different organizations and have had a huge impact on the city of Boston.”

Pelrine hopes that in the future, AFH will continue to expand and inspire similar organizations geared towards youth development, whether they be focused in the arts or other industries.

Pelrine cleaning up in the Painting Studio at AFH.



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