LEAF Student Art Exhibit Asks the Right Questions

Lapeer County Children’s Savings Account Program Puts Dreams on Display with Student Art Exhibit

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” A new art exhibit led by the Lapeer County Educational Attainment Fund (LEAF), a Michigan Children’s Savings Account Network program, puts the answer to that age-old question on display.

As a creative way to get both students and the local community excited about career goals and financial empowerment, LEAF partnered with The Center of the Arts of Greater Lapeer to display a collection of student-created art in the windows of a local art gallery, Gallery 194. The exhibit includes 45 drawings from local students in kindergarten through second grade, depicting their future career aspirations. Together, this artwork creates a collage in the gallery’s front window that aims to express the value of hope and goal-setting for the broader community. 

“This community collaboration is an excellent opportunity for the public to see our student’s career aspirations,” says Nancy Boxey, executive director of the Lapeer County Community Foundation. “With these pieces on display, the broader community can see its youths’ aspirations and how the Lapeer County LEAF program can support them in their goals.”

The exhibit is a part of LEAF’s Future You! initiative, which was established during the 2021-22 school year. The program works in partnership with 12 local elementary schools in and around Lapeer County to help young students build connections between careers and financial empowerment. 

“Future You! is designed to engage students in career awareness through hands-on activities,” Nancy explains. “They get a first-hand look at these opportunities, and can start considering what future they might like to build.”

To source art for the exhibit, teachers in participating schools distributed worksheets to their kindergarten through second-grade students, which prompted them to draw their “Future You!” and describe their plans. More than 2,400 students completed their worksheets, and the exhibit presents a sampling of these. 

On top of activities like this, LEAF provides kindergartners with Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) seeded with $25 each. These are designed to help students start saving for college or career training expenses and develop positive financial habits.

The art exhibit will also formally launch the program’s capital campaign to permanently endow LEAF for future generations. 

The student art will be on display at Gallery 194 through Jan. 31. Check it out!