PECKHAM IN ACTION

Dominique recalls becoming interested in art back in elementary school. In middle school, he and some friends got into Anime, and he began drawing various characters. While in high school, he and a classmate/fellow artist met and became good friends. Dominique says that his friend taught him a number of sculpting and shading techniques that further improved his own art. The two became so well known that people began commissioning them for various jobs.

In 2009, Domonique was riding his bike to a job interview when he was struck by a semi-truck. Incredibly, he didn’t break a single bone, but did sustain a brain injury. He relates that immediately after the accident, his main concern was that he’d be late for the interview. Instead, he was taken to the hospital, where the doctors examined him and were shocked by how well he’d survived the accident. They told him that God had saved his life.

Following the accident, Dominique spent several months at home, going through speech therapy and relearning many basic skills, until, in 2010, he was referred to Origami Rehabilitation in Mason, Michigan. It was there that he learned about Peckham. He began in manufacturing, and soon after, found out about Peckham’s Art From the Heart program, one of its many programs supported by the Peckham Community Partnership Foundation.

During his weekly visits to the art studio, Dominique enjoys creating art as well as seeing other people’s art, and being part of a thriving artists’ community. He enjoys learning new techniques and teaching others skills that he’s acquired. While showing his art at one of the exhibits, Dominque says he was surprised how many people expressed interest in his work; an interest that led to sales, something that he says makes him “feel amazing.”

Currently, he works in Peckham’s custodial division, specifically in the downtown Lansing government buildings. His main duty is keeping the buildings’ kitchens spotless, which is work that he enjoys and is proud of. He also chips in when needed, helping his colleagues out with trash and recycling. Moreover, he’s in the process of getting his driver’s license. He already has his permit and looks forward to passing his driving test.

Dominique’s advice to people going through tough times? “Keep your hopes and life on task,” he says, despite the many challenges you may be experiencing. Even though there may be roadblocks every step of the way, “you can still find the route,” something that he accomplishes daily, whether on the job, in the art studio, or the many other aspects of his fulfilling life.

 

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