Miriam helps Taylor find not only confidence, but a new respect for learning
It was during Taylor’s second year of high school that her mom, Kim, knew something had to change.
“She wasn’t learning.”
Throughout middle school and into high school, Taylor had fallen further and further behind. The school didn’t seem to know how to help. A friend recommended Miriam, and Kim knew they had to give it a try to give Taylor a chance to succeed.
On the day that Taylor visited, she instantly clicked with a few of the other students. When she started, she discovered Miriam was a place where she could make friends, she could trust her teachers, and ultimately, she could learn.
“People accept me for who I am,” Taylor said.
When Taylor first came to Miriam, she was shy and lacked confidence. But with the supportive environment, small class sizes, and helpful teachers, Taylor began to thrive.
Especially in the art studio. Taylor finds art to be therapeutic. Sometimes, she even “hides” in it, Kim says. “If she’s in a social setting where she’s not comfortable, she will sit down and start drawing on her phone.”
But once she started to come out of her shell in the art studio, there was no hiding. Taylor enjoys creating characters and then dreaming up their stories. She loves ceramics and acrylic painting. Her growing confidence in art helped her find confidence in other areas, as well.
Meaghan Mittler, Miriam’s high school art teacher, said of Taylor, “During art, she’s able to recognize and build on one of her many strengths. She feels safe and confident during art, which allows her to take risks she normally wouldn’t throughout the day.”
Kim says Taylor has started to share her art more with others, and Mrs. Mittler said she also loves to help her peers. “One of my favorite things about her as a person and an artist is her inclination to teach and engage others with absolute kindness. She speaks to her fellow classmates as equals and always has insightful feedback. She’s an asset to the art room and to Miriam,” Mrs. Mittler said.
Art is a natural place for Taylor to excel and find that confidence. “She has an exceptional natural ability, a fantastic imagination, and her attention to detail is exceptional. I allow and encourage students like Taylor to take charge of their experience in my room. She is never out of ideas, and therefore never without something to do,” Mrs. Mittler said.
Kim said they are grateful for the progress Taylor has made at Miriam, and she gives a lot of the credit to Taylor’s art teacher. “I know her relationship with Mrs. Mittler has not only boosted her abilities in art, but has spilled over into other subjects, too. She’s more confident in the knowledge that she has.”
Taylor is happy at Miriam, Kim said. “And because she’s happier, she is learning more. We have come a long way.”