May 6, 2013

Healing through art

By adcomweb

Scholarship support helps UW art student make a difference for children

UW Senior Bethany de Turk

UW Senior Bethany de Turk

UW senior Bethany De Turk kneels beside a child at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  “Hi, I’m Bethany,” she says in a gentle voice. “Would you like to make an art project?” She smiles, pulls out a box of crayons, thumbs through some brightly colored paper, and the two begin.

This has been a typical scene from Bethany’s time volunteering at Seattle Children’s. For one evening each week, Bethany wheeled a supply wagon full of colorful project materials — the “art cart” — into the rooms of children who could benefit from art as therapy. With each child, Bethany led an activity for up to an hour, asked questions about their project along the way and encouraged personal reflection.

“Art has a major healing element for the kids,” said Bethany, a School of Art major and Department of Global Health minor, and the recipient of the 2012 Alfredo Arreguin Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) Scholarship. “Not only does art distract them from whatever brought them into the hospital, it helps them to think about the bigger picture and to have a positive attitude.”

Bethany shares a similar sense of compassion with Alfredo Arreguin, ’67, ’69, a noted Mexican-American artist who supports her MAP Scholarship. After graduating from the UW, Alfredo also volunteered at Seattle Children’s, teaching ceramics to the kids.

Make a Gift
Support more students like Bethany and contribute to the Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) Scholarship Fund.

Alfredo’s MAP scholarship is given each year to a student like Bethany, who comes from a diverse socioeconomic background and uses art as a means for social change.

“It’s a great satisfaction for me to be able to help students, especially when I was one of those who needed help,” Alfredo said. “I’ve learned it’s very profitable to be kind — eventually, if you want to succeed, you have to remember how you were helped and pass it along to others.”

The scholarship will also help Bethany continue to volunteer. Her past volunteer work includes building a health clinic abroad in Honduras and working with preschool children through UW’s Jumpstart program.

Bethany’s drive to volunteer and help others comes from personal experiences growing up in poverty. She grew up in a large family without financial support from her parents. In order to fund her education, she’s relied on grants, loans and scholarships. Thanks to the Arreguin scholarship, she’ll have less debt post-graduation.

“This scholarship has really buffered the amount of money I would have had to take out in loans,” she said. “It is really a huge help for me, and it feels great to be rewarded for doing something I love.”

  • Bethany De Turk, a senior, is the 2012 Alfredo Arreguin Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) Scholarship recipient. She is pursuing an art major and global health minor to combine her passions for creative expressions and helping others.
    Drawn to creativity
  • Paying it forward
    Alfredo Arreguin, who supports Bethany’s scholarship, is a Mexican-American artist who donates a piece of his artwork each year to help to fund the MAP scholarship. “It’s a great satisfaction for me to be able to help students,” Alfredo said.
  • Healing through art
    Like Alfredo, Bethany has a strong sense of compassion that leads her to help others. She volunteered at Seattle Children’s Hospital for more than a year and led art activities with the children. “Art has a major healing element for the kids,” Bethany said. “It helps them to think about the bigger picture.”
  • Creating change
    Bethany is pairing her art degree with a minor in global health because she wants to use art as a means for social change. “With my art, I’m really interested in incorporating different health issues in what I create,” she said.
    Artwork pictured is by Bethany de Turk.
  • Youthful energy
    Bethany volunteered with UW’s Jumpstart program where she taught preschool-aged children. When she first heard about the art cart program at Seattle Children’s through a fellow volunteer, she was ecstatic for another opportunity to work with kids.
  • Continuing to serve
    The MAP scholarship will help Bethany continue her volunteer work. This past spring break, she went to Honduras and helped build a health clinic in a rural community.

Comments are closed.