Ariel Turns his Hardships into Motivation
Ariel is a creative, passionate, and sensitive twenty something young man. He has been a Hudson Valley LIFEPlan member since 2018. He is also an advocate for children and others and is using his passion to spread kindness.
Ariel has written two poetry books and four children’s books, and has a Family Show on YouTube . His co-host, December, an 8 year old girl who lives in NYC, joins him on the show. Together they take on issues that they feel are missing in education, such as compassion, empathy, and bullying.
Ariels’ Care Manager Gemma Villamil says that she often has a hard time keeping up with him.
Finding His Passion
Ariels parents are both artists who have supported his creative interests since he was a child. It wasn’t until he graduated from public school that he really found his true passions. Poetry, writing inspiring children’s books and motivational speaking were among them. Ariel developed these skills with the support of his family and his Care Manager. He also participated in an apprenticeship at a martial arts studio where he worked with children.
Ariel said, “As a child, I was inspired by Mr. Rogers. I hope to spread that type of kindness and to teach children through thoughtful exercises like the “Compassion Bag” in our recent YouTube video.”
When I read Ariel’s poetry, I found his work to be so relatable and inspiring, said his Care Manager Gemma. Ariel needed a resource to pull all his interests together in one place. I helped him find someone to create a website. She went on to say, “what Ariel could really use now is a mentor who can help him expand his impact and to share his passions.”
Special Words from Ariel
I want people to know that things haven’t always been easy for me. When I was younger, I can distinctly remember being called a space cadet in school, being shoved into lockers by people I never knew, having garbage cans thrown at me while walking home from school and being screamed at through open doors by students walking by while I sat in the classroom. It was horrible. Academically, information was forgotten as soon as I read it on a page, and learning felt like trying to navigate through an endless fog. Eventually, in my late twenties, I was diagnosed with ADHD, Pervasive Learning Disorder, and OCD.
Soon after, I organically began channeling the positives of my disabilities including enhanced creativity into writing and began emotionally connecting to people in ways I never had before. Now, I’ve found my heart is a voice that can speak to both adults and children through poetry and children’s picture books, which I collaborate on with my parents. These collaborations leave an imprint on readers while also celebrating the value of family as well. I am currently seeking an opportunity to add new stories to my life’s collection in the form of friendships with people who need an understanding mentor by their side.
If you want to learn more about Ariel’s work or watch his YouTube show, check out his beautiful new website, here. You can also follow Ariel on Instagram @poetrybyariel
If you know someone who would be interested in mentoring Ariel in the Hudson Valley (or virtually) please reach out to his Care Manager at: Geronima.Villamil@lifeplanccony.com