A special thanks to visual artist Eddie Gallagher who shared this impact story with us.
Odalys has long hair, almost like a hood, and was wearing the necessary face mask along with baggy monochrome clothes. She speaks with such a small voice that, despite her large stature, Eddie almost marked her absent when taking roll the first week. She worked diligently during art club, giggling with her friends.
When Eddie was signing out at the end of the day one of the office workers named Beatrice alerted him that Odalys had finished an art piece and gifted it to her with a huge smile. Beatrice said that in the five years that Odalys has been at the school, she’s never once been happy with or proud of her work. Eddie learned from the principal that Odalys has always struggled with a heightened level of perfectionism that impacted her ability to do assignments in her regular class.
The next week during the second session of art club, Eddie let the students have free reign over the supplies in the cupboard. Odalys grabbed watercolor supplies and started painting a tree and nature scene with a certainty and deftness that caught his eye. He monitored the rest of the class and ultimately wrapped up for the day. After school, he received this image and message from the principal: