When I was younger, I didn’t focus on being creative. I was out on the street hustling, and didn’t listen to anyone. But when I came to The Fortune Society, I found a different path. Here, I discovered my creative compass and, through it, the course of my life changed.
Working with The Animation Project (TAP), one of Fortune’s Creative Arts partners, I learned how to use digital art technology to tell my story. Initially I was intimidated, because I had limited computer and design skills. But by working with TAP’s professional staff and my fellow program participants, I soon fell in love with video and animation. I became the first one to arrive at group, and assisted on all our projects. With the software we learned, it felt as if I could do anything. Now, with my horizons broadened, I know that life is more than just about being in the streets— I have the capacity to thrive, too.
The Fortune Society and TAP gave me university-level training. Within two years of joining the program, TAP saw my dedication and offered me an internship to continue honing my skills. I am now a lead animator for them, and am so proud of how far I’ve come.
Without the Creative Arts program at Fortune, I would have been headed down an unproductive path. Instead, today I have clear goals that I’d like to achieve. I hope to soon learn the Adobe Creative Suite software, including Premiere Pro, plus other state-of-the-art animation software. And I want to start my own company someday, developing video games or sitcoms.
I initially came to Fortune to avoid further justice involvement, and thought that I’d leave as soon as I completed the program that I was in. But it quickly became so much more than that. I feel like a completely new person, and want others to experience that same transformation. Luckily, Fortune and TAP’s compassionate staff have not only helped me reach professional goals, but also encourage me to volunteer and give back to my community.
I love teaching other TAP participants what I know. Their faces light up when they realize what they’re capable of— it’s a feeling that I know well.
– Richard Rohoman, Lead Animator at The Animation Project and former Fortune participant