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Education: The Power of Art


By Turiya Autry

Caldera uses the power of the arts every day helping Oregon middle school students in both Portland and Central Oregon. Administrators, counselors and teachers at our partner schools help us identify struggling students with limited access to the arts. Once we start working with a student, we commit to working with him or her through high school graduation and beyond.

The energy behind this dynamic program comes from our middle school mentors, Amy Burtelow and Jon Larsen. Serving Middle School students in Portland and Central Oregon, the mentors work in schools during school hours. Caldera serves five Portland schools including HB Lee Middle School, Jason Lee Middle School, SEI Academy, Open Meadow Middle School and Peninsula Middle School. In Central Oregon, we serve students at Obsidian Middle School, Pilot Butte Middle School, Terrabonne Middle School, Redmond Middle School, and Madras Middle School.

Holding down the fort in Central Oregon is Amy Burtelow. Amy has worked with youth in many settings, including the wilderness, public schools, and youth employment programs. She believes that having fun is essential to learning, and she loves to both teach and learn through experiential, hands-on activities. Amy also has a professional background in environmental science and ecology, and she enjoys being outdoors & learning about nature as a way to explore and connect to a sense of place. Amy will be holding weekly classes in our Central Oregon Arts Partner schools and providing fun weekend outings for our Central Oregon High School students!

Jon Larsen has worked with youth in many settings in the last 14 years, including the wilderness, public schools, and International service work organizations. He believes every student deserves the opportunity to express themselves. Jon loves traveling to other countries, reading, and rock climbing. His favorite art medium is ceramics. His mother is his most inspirational person. If he could travel anywhere he would go to the Amazon Jungle to take pictures. Favorite Quote from Richard Bach: “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”
Stay tuned for our feature on the High School and Apprentice Mentors, Julie Keefe and Billy Miller in next month’s newsletter!


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