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Student Profiles

"I've made friendships that I would have never made without this experience. We have a bond unlike anything else because of the passion we share for leadership and Baltimore."
Alyse Ruriani
Maryland Institute College of Art
Hometown: Yardley, PA

Alyse's Story

“Baltimore has a big emerging art scene, and I believe that it can be used as a tool to advocate for issues we face, such as mental illness,” says Alyse Ruriani. Her vision is to promote awareness of mental health issues through art.

Alyse is passionate about art as a method of advocacy and healing. She has been touched by mental illness in her own life and has felt the healing powers art can bring, and Alyse has witnessed the benefits of art therapy in others. She has helped lead art therapy groups at the Powell Recovery Center and the House of Ruth Emergency Shelter to foster self-awareness, community, and recovery.

Her Collegetown LeaderShape family cluster chose to volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House. They put together toys, reading, and art materials to brighten the days of the children staying at the house. She learned the power of the little things and how seemingly simple gestures can make a big difference in someone's life.

From networking and collaboration to self-reflection, the skills Alyse gained through Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape have solidified her passion and vision.  “I learned so much through LeaderShape. I gained confidence, support, and a push to do what I believe in.”