Leaving a legacy of love

Senior uses art to make a statement before leaving MN


A STATEMENT PEICE: Student Jace January shares his artwork with his classmates in Art Foundations. “While Jace has been in art class he has really showed everyone that he is very skilled, and he puts his heart into it. He inspires everyone in the class that even though he has a disability he is still talented and can do anything,”sophomore Cynthia Gabrie said.

Anjali Pullabhotla, Staff Writer

“I don’t let my disability stop me from anything I want to do in life.”

Located just outside Room. 1105, stands a poster reading these exact words, vibrant in both its design and message, created by senior Jace January.

These are just the first words–and, certainly, not the last– in January‘s crusade to raise awareness for people with disabilities, people like himself.

“I’ve known Jace since seventh grade. He is always so happy, and he wants to make everyone else feel that too,” senior Luke Vosik said.

As January continues discussing the project that has taken over the halls of MN’s art department, his vibrant, open-mouthed smile, full of love, purity, and awe at his own success, overtakes his face.

“I didn’t know that it would have such an impact, my goal was just to find people that see the [ability] in me,” January said.

January made the poster in his art class, inspired by art teacher Mallory Williams, who noticed January’s artistic talent from the beginning.

“At the beginning of the semester, he said on multiple occasions “Oh, I can’t draw,” and I would always tell him that he could. It makes a so unbelievably happy to see him put so much effort into a work of art and be so proud of it! And, as a teacher, it makes me so proud to see a student overjoyed with their work,” Williams said.

However, January hasn’t been the only one overjoyed by his work. The happiness it has brought many other students has led to an immense amount of pride in many of his close friends as well.

“I’m so proud of him. I first met Luke in eighth grade, and he has changed so much. He was very reserved back then, but now he’s very sociable, and he’s even walking at graduation,” Vosik said.

January’s newfound quickness to make new friends, however, has had effects that are two-fold. First, it’s led to over 50  signatures on the poster, with all of January’s art class signing it as well as many others. And, it’s helped shift the public narrative surrounding disability at MN.

“It made me really happy [to see so many signatures on the poster.] I know that we aren’t the same, but we are still people. I think this will help people understand that,” January said.

As January prepares to graduate from high school, going so far as to walk at graduation, this is the legacy he will leave behind at our school. One of loving in the present, so we can hope for a better future.