The Memory Project; Reaching Beyond Ourselves


Rylee Nicoletti

Jamie Nicoletti’s drawing of her child in Haiti.

Rylee Nicoletti, Master of Marketing

When walking through stores this time of year, what do you see? Christmas decorations of course! As this holiday approaches, people are out shopping for toys, appliances and much more for their loved ones. Many families in the United States are fortunate enough to be able to afford gifts for their family and friends. Unfortunately, there are millions of people throughout the world who do not have this opportunity, including Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country, financially, in the Western Hemisphere. Obviously, like most countries, there are fortunate families, but some still face struggles everyday. Hardships often lead to humility and an increased sense of gratitude.  These families and children find joy in the little things, such as portraits of themselves. The portraits can even bring confidence to the children knowing that someone cares about them. Knowing this, South Shore art students teamed up with the Memory Project to make these children’s dream possible.

Art teacher Stephanie Granke reached out to the nonprofit organization. the memory Project asked that each participant cover the  $15 per portrait shipping cost.  The class made eight portraits which totaled $120, ultimately covered by the school.  The art class agreed that the shipping fees were a minimal cost to being able to bring joy to children’s faces. The students were then sent a picture of their child and given instructions on how to process it. They used tools such as paper, colored pencils, crayons, and pastels to create their works of art. Jamie Nicoletti, a very skilled and artistic senior, found this project very fun and she was happy to make a difference in someone’s life. “I feel happy that I can give something to a child that might not have a lot.” After their portrait is done, it will sent back to Haiti for the children to enjoy.  Each portrait will be accompanied by a note identifying the artist who has an option to include their own photo.

Making small gestures like this is how South Shore wants to be known. Big differences start small and that is what the art students are trying to do here. We would like to encourage everyone to take time out of their day and make a difference.  No matter how small a gesture may be, it has the power to make someone’s day.