Cara Olson - Carroll Community College

Olson Pic

"Cara has been and continues to be an active member on campus here at Carroll and in our community...Her love of art and its positive effects on people will be front and center through her service project with Young Life Carroll County...Cara 'walks the walk' when it comes to advancing equity in rural communities...In both 2020 and 2021, Cara attended two missionary trips where she helped rural homeowners in West Virginia with various maintenance and repair projects."

Dr. James D. Ball 
President, Carroll Community College

The service project that I wish to do throughout my last year at Carroll Community College, specifically within my last semester, is art therapy through Young Life Carroll County.

I am interested in doing this project because I want to be able to use my own artistic skills to help and better others, and I also want to show how art can be used for de-stressing and healing (such as how painting on a canvas can relax you).

Through this project, the attendees will be able to participate in a calm creative environment, with peaceful/calming music playing in the background. Participants will be encouraged to use their creativity in a safe place and to experiment with their work. This will not only be a way for the participants to destress, but it will also encourage them to create artwork on their own.

I feel that this project is important because the world needs art and creativity, especially youth who do not get to experience the arts. This project encourages creativity in youth who may not get artistic encouragement elsewhere, and this project also shows how art can be used to be therapeutic for the creator. On top of that, it can create a sense of unity throughout the group since they will be participating together.

I have personally used art as a way for me to calm down and destress, and I want to show others that they can also do this regardless of their own artistic skills. I hope that the participants will learn how creativity can help them mentally, and I hope that they are encouraged that anyone can create artwork even if they do not consider themselves to be creative. Anyone can be an artist, and I hope that this project will help others find their artistic voice.

Cara Olson

2023-2024 Transform Mid-Atlantic Civic Fellow