More than 10,000 high-school artists
have participated by creating portraits for
children in orphanages around the world.
Her name is Beatriz. She is eight years old, though a bit small for her age. If you throw her into the air and
catch her in your arms, she laughs.
I met Beatriz in February 2007.
She stood waiting by the gate of her
orphanage in El Salvador as I entered
with four large duffel bags, each one
full of faces that all the children
would recognize. As one can imagine,
children in orphanages grow up with
few belongings to call their own.
Photographs are scarce, and keepsakes minimal. What better way to
capture their beauty, innocence, and
dignity than in a portrait?
In my bags were original portraits
for all of the children. They had been
made by advanced high-school artists
from across the United States, whose
photographs were attached. Beatriz
was about to receive a work of art
from a talented student in Miami,
Florida, named Daniela. When I pre-
sented her the portrait on Daniela’s
behalf, she smiled, giggled, and then
read aloud the heartfelt message Dan-
iela had written on the back.
“This is my favorite project in all
my years of teaching!”
—Jenny Davidson, WA
“I can truly say this was one of the
highlights of my teaching career.”
—Zita Hudnut, NJ
“Our students said this was one of
the most moving experiences they
have ever had, and one that they will
always remember about high school.”
—Tom Steward, WI
“Participating in your wonderful
program, even with just a few kids,
has been a high point in my teaching
—Erin Albright, TX
“This is the most meaningful, important, and valuable project I have ever
worked on with my students.”
—Kellye Markowski, MO
Please visit us at www.thememoryproject.org to find out how to get involved. We also have a program
called Books of Hope ( www.booksofhope.org) that is open to students at levels K– 12.