Antonio Alanis’s Story
Antonio’s story starts in Durango, Mexico. It’s the northern part of the country and they migrated to the United States in search of more opportunities. His parents wanted to have educational opportunities.
They start living in El Paso, Texas. They lived there for four years and we moved to North Carolina in early 2000, where they are right now. One question he always got was, where are you from? Which is one of those complex questions that he really can’t define. Telling everyone where he’s from. He’s from many places. He’s from Durango, El Paso, and North Carolina.
He had to figure out who he was as a migrant student. Who was he in this world?
After college, he started thinking about how can he provide these same opportunities for his committing Latinx members?
Why did he continue studying?
He wanted to honor his parents, his grandparents, and his ancestors, who just didn’t have these opportunities. It’s interesting because in psychology, there’s something called the Pygmalion effect, and the Pygmalion effect is that you will rise to the standards that people have for you. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who believe in you and who want you to succeed because, in turn, you’re gonna start thinking that way. You don’t wanna let people down. We as human beings wanna satisfy people.
He began to think critically, “Why am I here? Is it just to build knowledge, or am I here to really use this knowledge for improving conditions in my community?”. He began to teach English in his local community because he wanted to use his knowledge for helping migrants find jobs, and helping them understand how to navigate the school education system.
The Importance of Art
Since Antonio is also an artist, he started to see how artists responded to social justice issues back then. That was a huge motivator for him to understand how can he use this craft, which is art, illustration, and writing for opening more doors for his community members.
Grant Writing Business
In January 2022 he opened a grant-writing and illustration business, where he also works with nonprofit organizations. You can find more information here https://www.antonioalanisart.com/grantsopportunities-resources
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