Manley is currently a Photography major at Bard College. Though he’s in his second year of college now, Manley was once a camper and after school student at Kids Creative. He still remembers how the program helped him break out of his shell, telling us, “Overall it helped me to grow as a person a lot over the years, and it’s helped me just be more comfortable opening up to other people.” Through Kids Creative, Manley was given the space and tools to build his confidence, and it helped him grow from a shy, quiet kid to an assertive and confident young adult who’s ready to take on the world.
There was one scene from a play that Manley remembers particularly well. He laughs as he explains, “I was 11, so it was maybe my fourth or fifth year at Kids Creative, and we had done this one play. I remember in the play I was supposed to be this wizard...and I remember no matter how many times we rehearsed that scene, everyone would be laughing because it was such a funny, genuine scene that we were able to come up with.”
Having the opportunity to come up with their own show, rather than performing a play that had already been written, really helped Manley and his friends in the program feel that much more invested. He says, “It was something you and your classmates came up with, so you were able to have as much fun with it as possible, and I think that’s what made the experience all the better.”
“At Kids Creative they accepted you no matter who you were, no matter where you came from, no matter what background you came from and welcomed you with open arms,” Manley told us of his time at KC. It’s this attitude of community, acceptance, and positivity that we strive to continue each and every day for all of our students.
It was great getting a chance to catch up with Manley, and we wish him all the best as he continues at Bard College, hoping to one day work as a freelance photographer or in photojournalism. We can’t wait to watch him and his fellow KC rock stars create a more peaceful world!