I have been teaching with AFYP's after-school proram for almost two years, and I love my job.
Growing up, I was extremely quiet. I would never speak at school, so I cannot begin to imagine being in an AFYP class when I was my students' age. The growth and the confidence that I see instilled in these children every semester is limitless. Their creativity and compassion never ceases to amaze me. If I had grown up with a program like this at my fingertips, I can only imagine how ahead of the game I would be.
Additionally, AFYP students work collaboratively, respectfully, and artistically with their peers. As with all theater, this program attracts many different personalities and ages. This encourages the students from a young age to learn from people who are different. To grow together. To teach each other, to support one another, and to craft a stellar performance. This is not always easy, but I have seen these young people's acceptance of one another that is more effortless than many adults.
As much as I prepare each week with theater games, acting lessons, and scripts catered to each class, I often feel that I learn more life lessons from my students than they could possibly learn from me. They have shown me that ambition begins early, and they are enormously equipped to tackle any challenge they're thrown later in life. They remind me that opening our minds to embrace different minds will lead to endless possibilities.
It is a joy to wear this red shirt and to lead classes that foster this creative and compassionate environment.
Kira Omans in an actress, model and nonprofit spokesperson. She currently studies Theatre Performance and Communication at George Mason University and is a teaching artist with Acting for Young People. Kira was crowned Pacific Miss Asian American 2015, a tribute to her talent, athleticism and superior communication skills.