Change Through Arts & Service

Our Talents Can Make a Difference!

Photo of Nikya Hourd
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Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Snapchat: Npthrox Instagram: iamnikya.official - iamnikya.personal - Twitter: @iamrealnikya - @bhabiebharbie

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

All of my life I've heard about the struggles people face like depression, starvation, poverty, and even discrimination. My mother has made it her goal to make sure I am safe mentally and physically, so I haven't been in the shoes of the people I had heard and seen around the streets of St.Louis. Whenever I'm feeling down I participate in hangouts and listen to/make music that I can connect to. Helping these people through arts and service would make a huge difference in both my life and their lives because they would be happier, life for them would be easier, and they would always have support. Allowing them to have access to vegetables, through a community garden, could also increase the health problems St. Louisans have.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

I'm trying to solve the problem of discrimination, depression, support, and starvation. This has been a problem for decades because everyone is too scared to help. They are too scared to step out of the box and change some things around. We could have a better community, if only someone tries to make it better; I am trying to make it better.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I believe that I can help better my city/community by the following ways: Arts: Each and every person is unique, and with the uniqueness come the fact that no one sees the same way. Every art piece is unique as well, whether it is because of the voice, the message, the type of materials used, the eyes that examine it, the ears that listen to it, the hands that make it; each piece is different and with the difference comes different feelings for different people. Art can allow people to feel amazing enough to change some things in their lives. I believe that if we have enough help to create all types of art we can make people feel amazing and feel enough to make something of themselves. Service: Community service improve lives of other people, like the ones I mentioned earlier. Whether it be food, school supplies, or trash pickup I hope to make a difference and change in my community. If you were to drive around St.Louis you'll probably would be sad. Sad about all the trash that surrounds the city, about the look of sadness on other people's faces, and about the look of the empty lots that could be used to help the community, but aren't. I live here, so I feel the need to help.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Hypothetically speaking, my team and I would meet everyday to collect ideas that could improve life in St.Louis, or evaluate services/arts that have been done recently. If there is a event that we have planned for the day we would put on t-shirts, or some other thing to show who we are, and go into the city. For art projects we will have outside galleries that people could walk through, with a stage for musicians/poets to share their stuff. Physical art like paintings and even sculptures can be hung up throughout the galleries. Some of us would walk around the community either talking to citizens or collecting littered trash from the ground. Maybe if we have enough money we would have a food give away, or maybe work with the city who could supply lunches for the kids. At the end of the day, the team and I would meet up and talk about what happened through the day, pack up, and go home.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

I think my idea of C.T.A.S. is very different than the organizations that exist in St.Louis. Other places use more of a service based contributions like free lunches. I'm hoping to take a whole other approach by creating a community that communicates with each other. We'll have one-on-one relationships with the people we help, along with giving people an outlet for their art.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I plan to know that I've made a difference in two ways. One way is when people understand what we are and what we stand for. They will know that we deeply care for the communities in St.Louis, and want them to be the best that they can be. Another way is that we will SEE the change in the streets, the people's art, and even the people's moods. I hope that they will be happier, healthier, and more confident in themselves and our city.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

This summer I will be trying to get the organization started, including starting a few community gardens, and talking with current citizens. Of course I will need help from my friends and family, due to my age. I'll also try to get grants that could help supply art supplies, music instruments for making music, and other materials.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Some needed resources are more team members, a website that shows who we are as an organization, and grant/scholarships that could help with funding the events we will hopefully have. Due to fact that I am trying to take a artistic and service approach, I will need a lot of art materials - canvases, art supplies, computers, musical instruments, and recording equipment - and also materials for services - gardening tools, gardening plants, and tools for picking up trash.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

Recently I've read some of the ideas other people have submitted and I believe that the feeding homeless idea could also be apart my idea. That could definitely a service that we could do in the St.Louis community. A lot of my family members think that it would great to have an art gallery and food distribution at the same time, so that the art and service can be combined.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • T-Mobile page or contact

Inspired by (1)

H&H Initiative


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


I love this approach. Music and art are the universal language. They have such a unique power of bringing people together, and making people happy. I also want to help people by increasing the presence of art and music. Keep up the good work!

Photo of Bug and Bee Lucas

I appreciate where your heart is at! You should continue to evaluate and reevaluate the details in your project, I can see it going great places in the future.

Photo of Brittany Corner

Amazing project

Photo of Selma N

Your project sounds amazing! My project RISE (Refugee International Support Effort) is working towards distributing creative outlet items such as instruments, art supplies, notebooks, and sports equipment, throughout refugee camps in order to instill hope, passion, and mental well being. I am inspired by your project and am happy to find someone as inspired as I am by the healing power of the arts! We should definitely collaborate!

Photo of Naysha Young

Creative thoughts and ideas shape our future and yours is one that could change ours!

Photo of Ezra Bram

Hey, Nikya! I see some real potential in your idea and I greatly admire your heart to impact people and communities. At CATALYST COFFEE AND TAPHOUSE we are striving to have a similar impact. As a musician myself, I can totally relate to the deep connection and comfort music can bring people. I am pumped to see how you could get more people involved in a hobby I love! Keep up the good work and let us know if you ever reach Denver!
- Ezra and Adam Nicholson 

Photo of Old Friend

This is awesome! Maybe we could collaborate and you could help your community by providing care packages like The Nightlight Project(Helping Bring Light Into the Young Lives That Need it Most.) hopes to provide to kids/teens! We would just need you to help hand out applications and or help people fill them out!

Photo of Nikya Hourd

I read your idea and believe that it is great! I think that it could be considered as part of the services that i hope to start. Maybe we can help each other though starting both of our organizations.

Photo of Old Friend

Thank you! and thank you for considering it, since your focus is mainly art we could provide art care packages(the aren't always the same and contain different art supplies based on what is requested). And any help would be amazing, if you need some don't hesitate to email me(