The performing arts can be an incredible way for young people to express themselves and shine in the spotlight. But it’s not always easy, and for many kids, there are barriers to accessing the performing arts.
Financial barriers and a lack of resources can make it difficult for kids and teens to pursue their passion, but one North Texas teen has sought out to change that.
Madeleine Chen, an elite dancer and a Junior at The Hockaday School in Dallas recently founded a nonprofit organization called Visions For Confidence (V4C). The organization helps underserved communities by providing scholarships to talented young artists who need financial support in order to continue their training and achieve their dreams.
According to the organization’s website, “At VisionsForConfidence (V4C), our mission is to empower and support young individuals as they explore their identities and develop the confidence necessary to reach their full potential as performing artists and responsible citizens of the world. V4C aims to apply the transformative power of the fine arts in boosting confidence and shaping the futures of children.”
Boosting Confidence in Young People Through Performing Arts
V4C was launched in June 2020 by Chen and co-founder, Elizabeth Echt, an accomplished young musician. The organization aims to share the life-changing experiences and confidence that performing arts can offer to kids and teens who may not have access to these opportunities on their own.
Madeleine Chen explains her inspiration by saying, “My co-founder, Elizabeth and I have been fortunately involved in fine arts from a very young age, and we realize that the resources that were given to us are not necessarily available to a lot of other kids outside of our own community. We recognize the transformative power of the performing arts in our own lives and want to share these life-changing experiences and the confidence we gained through the fine art with others who may not have the opportunity otherwise.”
V4C provides scholarships to support talented young artists with financial needs to pursue continued arts training and realize their dreams. Through a variety of programs, events, and fundraising initiatives, the organization is dedicated to providing specialized performing arts training to children with special needs, as well as financial assistance and quality arts training to talented young artists facing financial hardship as they pursue their aspirations and launch their careers.
To date, V4C has raised nearly $30,000 in scholarship funds, and has helped a number of performing artists throughout Dallas.
In 2021, the organization donated nearly $8000 in scholarships to six local talented young dancers with financial needs to participate in the classical and commercial dance competitions. And in 2022, V4C donated $5000 to support the fine arts educational program at George H. W. Bush Elementary School, which serves predominantly minority and economically disadvantaged students.
“Many studies have now confirmed that exposure to fine arts can foster a broader sense of well-being in children and create a bridge into society,” says Chen. “We’ll be continuing to offer Fine Arts Scholarships to those talented young artists facing financial hardships. Our goal is to support their continued arts training and participation in competitions that can lead to professional opportunities.”
In addition to serving the DFW community, V4C also has a larger vision in their mind. V4C wants to expand its impact nationally and internationally by opening additional chapters world-wide, and since 2022, the organization has established six V4C Chapters across the U.S.. They also recently established their first international chapter in the Galapagos Islands.
In Apr 2022, V4C earned a much-deserved World Semi-Finalist award at the International High School Diamond Challenge Business Competition for their social innovation and impact.
More information about V4C’s fundraising initiatives, available scholarships, and more can be found on their website.