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Pre-College Scholars Beautify Brookdale

They were ready for action and bright-colored paint. The large-scale cartoon characters and sports figures jumping, peeking, and grinning on the walls of the Brookdale Medical Center in Brooklyn were poised to entertain young pediatric patients. These new denizens of the hospital were the hand-drawn creations of 18 New York City high school seniors on scholarship in the Parsons Pre-College Scholars Program.

On Saturday, May 8, these 17 and 18-year-olds squeezed tubes of paint, dipped their brushes, and carefully applied colors for the final phase of a mural project that taught technique along with the value of community service.

“Designing, sketching, and painting this ambitious artwork has been challenging for these young artists,” said Jaime Arredondo, professor at Parsons The New School for Design, who oversaw the mural project. “But by working in the hospital, seeing children who are patients and their families, these students begin to understand how public art can have a transformative capacity.”

The Brookdale Medical Center project caps the students' three-years in the intensive program which provided mentoring, art instruction, cultural field trips, internships, and college-readiness workshops. "We're very proud of the achievements our high school seniors have made through their commitment to our pre-college program," said Anne Gaines director of the Pre-College Academy and Continuing Education. "All of them intend to pursue higher education and continue to invest in their interests in art and design."