A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Ellen Chen ’24 Organizes Charity Art Event for Don Bosco Community Center

This summer, Ellen Chen ’24 led a team of nearly 50 students to host a charity art exhibition to support the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, NY. With the goal of funding a new art enrichment program at Don Bosco, the student-led event raised more than $10,000 and featured 400 student artworks.

Ellen established her partnership with Don Bosco during the 2022-23 school year when she began teaching an after-school origami class for young students. Inspired by the children’s enthusiasm for creative exploration, Ellen felt a charity art exhibition would be a meaningful way to raise the resources needed for Don Bosco to expand its arts programming. And so the idea was born!

While deepening her own art education in the Summer Enrichment Program at Sharron Art Center in New Jersey, Ellen successfully pitched her idea to the president of the Sharron Art Center. With the support of Sharron Art Center to host the charity exhibition, Ellen went on to lead the execution of the event on August 13—from recruiting artists to donate their work to be sold, advertising, and curating the exhibition. 

One of Ellen’s paintings, Consumption, which was recognized by the New York Times, was included in the exhibition and purchased by RCDS Head of School Randall Dunn. It will be displayed in the gallery of student work in the Head of School’s office as a tribute to the meaning of both community engagement and the visual arts.

At a special ceremony on August 21, Ellen and the Sharron Art Center formally presented the raised funds to Jerry Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Don Bosco Community Center. In his remarks, Mr. Rodriguez shared, “Ellen, you’re doing something transcendental. You’re not here for yourself, you’re here for everything you do through your art. This is really an investment in the children of Port Chester. Thank you very much for what you do because it is all about how we can, as an existing community, support each other to make ourselves better at the end of the day.”

A wonderful demonstration of the RCDS motto, Not for Self, but for Service, and how public purpose can intersect with student passions.

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