Teen Of The Week

Teen of the Week: Annapolis High teen developed art program for kids

 Wendi Winters   wwinters@capgaznews.com

Annapolis High senior Arthur Slade III anticipates wrapping up his college applications in time so he can fully enjoy the Thanksgiving break.

The 17-year old Annapolis resident tentatively plans to major in a computer technology program to train for a technology career. He hopes to minor in graphic design. After visiting several colleges, he's still mulling the pros and cons of seven colleges and their campuses.

The teen is taking his SAT exams and has discovered some college applications can be done simultaneously via the Common App. Introduced in area high schools several years ago, the Common App is a college admission application for undergraduate programs that applicants like Arthur and his classmates can use to apply to about 700 colleges and universities across the country and in Canada, many European countries and China.

"I'm still iffy on the major and minor thing," Arthur said. "I do love art. But, I love computers, too."

Arthur has been enrolled in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) classes the past six years. Currently ranked, academically, in the top 30 percent of his class, he is a member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society, and is a representative of the Student Government Association. He started senior year with all 26 credits needed for graduation, but he's spending his final year at Annapolis High gaining additional AP credits, which count toward college credits, and sharpening his technical, artistic and leadership skills.

Through AVID, he tutors younger AVID students in English, history and math.

When he has a spare moment, Arthur pulls out a sketch pad and, with a pencil or marker, records the passing scene on paper. He especially enjoys creating landscapes and portraits of his classmates. Some of his artworks have found eager buyers.

Every day after school, Arthur hops the yellow bus to the Bywater Community. His stop is near the Bywater Boys & Girls Club. There, as he has since his sophomore year, as a junior staff member, Arthur helps the club's youth complete their home work and settle down for study time.

At 4:30 p.m., he sets up for "Art with Arthur," the one-hour program he developed and leads. Materials are laid out for the children to practice creating abstract scenes, landscapes, portraits, still lifes or cartoons. At the end of the session, all the art is hung on the walls for the kids to compare and learn.

The past three years, the Bates Boys & Girls Club has nominated Arthur for the Youth of the Year Award, one of six local teens to be honored. He has a been a member and active in Boys & Girls Club activities since third grade.

Matt Kountz, director of the Bywater Boys & Girls Club says Arthur is a leader who helps define the club.

"Arthur is a strong male role model for the Boys & Girls club members to look up to," Kountz said. "He is a good student who takes his school work and job seriously."

The Slade family attends Beacon Light 7th Day Adventist Church, and Arthur is active with the congregation's youth group.

Arthur's mother is Lisa Colbert-Slade, the receptionist at Annapolis High School. His father Arthur Slade Jr. is a maintenance employee with the Anne Arundel County Housing Authority. Monique Slade, his big sister, is 32. Sibling Colby Slade, 24, is a Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers assistant and Kalese, 8, attends Germantown Elementary School.

During the summer months, Arthur has pursued his interest in another form of art: film.

He's an advance student in the Filmsters Academy Film Camp, held during the summer on the Key School campus.

Documentary filmmaker and film producer, Patti O. White, a Filmsters co-founder, sings Arthur's praises.

"He's a quiet guy but he's got so much going on. I worked with him at the Boys & Girls Club on projects and he's been at our film class for five years," White said. "He's an incredible, gifted artist and an interesting storyteller through his art."

White added Arthur's character is "way up there in the stratosphere."

"He's honorable. All the camp kids love him," she said. "They believe him. He's authentic."
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