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Yeleny Valdivia


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My preferred name is Lee Angelos Valdivia (they/them) My goal is to become an illustrator & character design artist. I hope to one day illustrate and write media that has diverse representation for kids like me and tells their stories. I'm a creative, hardworking person, who wants to help tell stories through art.


Arthur And Polly Mays Conservatory Of The Arts

High School
2019 - 2023


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Visual and Performing Arts, General
    • Fine and Studio Arts
    • Crafts/Craft Design, Folk Art and Artisanry
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
    • Literature
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Characters designer / illustrator

    • intern

      Mayors Peace & Prosperity internship program
      2022 – Present2 years


    • young artist gallery

      Conceptual Art
      6FT self portrait made of charcoal
      2021 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Otakufest 2022 — working in guest relations
      2022 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Pridelines — creating centerpeices and decorations
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      santos adult daycare — teaching the elderly how to paint
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      independent — doing small demonstrations in painting
      2017 – 2017

    Future Interests



    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    when you met me I smiled and laughed but kept everyone at a distance I built a castle so high the roof reached farther than Mount Everest it had a moat so deep and vast it looked like the ocean My castle was an island. my own secluded safe house to hide my heart away to hide my vulnerability I was safe so when I saw you smiling, eyes filled with emotion sailing through my moat towards my island I didn’t think twice I opened the door to let you walk through my walls you made yourself at home as we spent days looking at the Horizon painting pictures of futile futures swaying together in the kitchen as soft music filled the air it felt like no one else mattered so when you stole my first kiss I smiled and let you steal five more you ran your fingers through my hair till your whispers were all I heard whispers of praises “you’re beautiful.” I loved how soft your skin felt in my embrace the way your kisses made me feel like I was on fire It felt like a daydream. I didn’t notice the blood on your hands as you walked back out the door with the promise that you’ll be back so I sat there and waited watching the sun cycle through day and night again and again so busy waiting for you to send a message a sign of keeping your promise I didn’t feel the blood slowly seeping out of me with each passing day I didn’t notice the knife I didn’t notice my heart decaying I didn’t notice what was to come I sent so many messages spent so many hours thinking of ways to tell you I miss you to ask what I did wrong it never occurred to me that you didn’t care so when you said it was mistake just a game your curiosity a simple phrase that’s when I notice the murder scene you left behind I was in shock to see how little of my heart was left I couldn’t look myself in the eye knowing I let this happen so I cemented my door shut built stronger walls the island I once thought safe became my prison. for months the whispers of insecurity filled my ears so distracted with figuring out what was wrong with me you left me so broken that when she came knocking I hid behind the curtains if it wasn’t for her breaking down the walls with her touch of kindness I would’ve never seen the light again. unlike you she didn’t steal anything she let me cry on her shoulder as she taught me how to sew my heart together she told me that nothing was my fault that I was only human. She made me feel like daydream. but I could never tell her that she’s the only one holding my hand through this pain that you caused and if I were to lose that I think I’d never see the sun again I’m terrified of loving her. because loving you Left me broken. -The Lonely Island Castle
    Palette & Purpose Scholarship
    "Being transgender is who you are, and the pain is what the outside does to you. The pain is what happens when you and the world go at each other's throats."― Andrew Joseph White, Hell Followed With Us. These words come to mind as I look at the world around me and see the trials and tribulations my peers and I face for the simple act of existence. Growing up a queer & trans child of Cuban immigrant parents, I've never truly seen myself in the stories I consumed as a child. Due to this, I started creating my own stories through art. Representation always has been one of my primary motivations for creating. Being able to illustrate the stories of those cast aside or never given a voice is something I constantly try to push myself to achieve. Finding stories like mine and that of my peers always feels like a reward. Especially after fighting to find any sliver of representation for so long. So you can imagine the heaviness I felt when The "W.O.K.E. Act and "Don't Say Gay" Bill passed in Florida early this year, which caused many books to get banned. Books that told tales of BIPOC and queer youth were pulled out of Every school library around the state—making it even harder for children and teens to access books that not only represented us but taught us to be more empathetic to those different than us. This had filled me with as much rage as sorrow; I was sick and tired of the government trying to erase and censor queer, Latin, and black voices. Many of my classmates shared my feelings, and we thought," If the schools don't give us the books we want, then we'll get them from somewhere else!" so, little by little, I helped small groups of classmates get Library cards, showed them how to check out books, and even access the library's apps. I wanted to return the power of choice to my classmates and me, no matter how small. That's why as I go through my art career, I hope to uplift voices that are often left unheard. Through illustration, character design, and concept art, I Whish to create stories that make BIPOC and queer youth feel not only represented in media but empowered. To help inspire more of us to tell stories like The Hate You Give, by Aggie Thomas, Hell followed With Us, by Andrew Joseph White, and Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, which have not only inspired me to create art but have also helped millions of teens feel less alone. That's why I wish to lessen the pain the world causes to those of us who are different, using my art. After all, no one should have to feel as if the world is after their throat.
    Christian ‘Myles’ Pratt Foundation Fine Arts Scholarship
    As I’ve grown as an artist over the years. Many events and people in my life have influenced my art and how I go about my art process. One experience that has influenced my art immensely is my journey as a queer person and the challenges that come with it. Such the loss of people in my life and unlearning internalized homophobia are some of the main topics I present in my artwork. Art itself became a way to connect and express my thoughts and emotions while connecting with others that face similar experiences and have similar identities. Which has blessed me with a community of people in my life who love and care about me. Take my cousin Andy Valdivia for example; He has not only influenced my life as a whole but was one of my prominent supporters throughout my childhood, encouraging me to start art in the first place. Andy has also taught me the importance of playing with new art media and getting inspired by experimentation. Which has led me to try all sorts of materials and media such as printmaking, embroidery, tattoo designing, and photography. Playing around with materials has helped me with artist burnout and has taught me that there are so many ways to create art. Other individuals who have influenced my art are my fellow classmates and friends. One, in particular, is my Best friend and fellow artist, Nikolai Arechavaleta. Who has fantastic technical art skills? He inspires me to keep working on bettering my observations & technical talents and is amazing at giving objective and helpful critiques. Finally, Other things that have highly influenced my arts are visual novels and concepts art books. The art of storytelling through character and environment design has always amazed and inspired me. Seeing artists collaborating and brainstorming techniques for animation films, cartoons, and video games have taught me the importance of teamwork and how diverse point of view can help make a project great. Storytelling is essential to me as an artist and has greatly influenced my art process. Being able to tell diverse stories is vital to me, especially as a queer Latinx individual. Telling stories through my art is the main reason I want to study Illustration; I believe representation and conversation are the most important things in art and media today. I hope to use my skills to continue to tell stories with diverse casts of characters and give kids everywhere the representation they deserve. In conclusion, I owe a lot to the people around me and the experiences I’ve gone through in life. They have influenced me in many ways and helped me become the artist I am today. As I continue to grow and change in life, the people I meet along the way, the experiences I encounter, and the media I consume will not only influence my life. They’ll help me become a better artist.
    Stand and Yell Community Impact Scholarship
    I've always had the inherent need to help my community around me. Growing up Latinx and coming out as Trans, finding community has always been an essential part of me and my journey. I'm always looking for ways to use my skills to give back to my communities. I've volunteered at my local Adult daycare. "Santos adult daycare" teaching Painting workshops to The Latinx elderly. We would Play old cumbia and Salsa music while we painted. I enjoyed hearing stories from the patrons about their lives from when they were younger and using my skills in art to help them paint their memories. Another time I used my art skills when volunteering was at my local lgbtq+ center, Pridelines; I helped make and design the decorations and centerpieces for their yearly summer Queer prom. Seeing all the planning and dedication it takes to make an event a beautiful and safe space was very educational. I've also volunteered in my local convention scene. Notably, Otakufest, an anime and cosplay convention helped the convention runners set up and run the convention smoothly. My main job was assisting in guest relations, helping create a safe environment for the special guest and the fans. Through all these Volunteering experiences, I've learned just how important it is to make a safe environment where people can not only have fun but feel heard. The amazing people and teams I worked with taught me valuable lessons on cultivating safe and creative spaces where communities can come together and connect. I hope to utilize these lessons in the future to bring together communities through art and design and safe areas of communication.
    No You Did Not Win An Emi, But You Did Win This Scholarship
    As I grew older and realized who I am, I have changed, and so has my name. Being a first-generation Latinx, I've not only struggled with staying connected with my Caribbean roots but also with my gender identity. Therefore the story of my True name was a journey of struggle, reconnection, and empowerment. Coming out as Transgender was challenging in a culture where the language is dictated by gender. My dead name never felt like my own. It felt like an ill-fitting uniform that's been stuck to my skin most of my life. It was even an anagram of my eldest sister's name, so it never felt like mine in the first place. Choosing my True name was very important to me, not only as a trans person but as a Latinx person. I wanted my name not only to feel like my own but bring me closer to my roots, a name that didn't put me in a box. Most names in Spanish were separated by gender, and the names that weren't didn't seem to fit me. Finding a name that suited me was a nightmare. Instead of finding my name myself, it found me (at least the first half of it did) in the form of a nickname given to me by my niece. Lee, a name easy enough for a young child to scream in excitement before tackling me in a hug. Its origin means "meadows." Looking back into my family tree, I found the second part of my name. Angelos, my great aunt's middle name. She was a trailblazer in her community, full of creativity, love, and laughter. Its origin means "messenger angel." Lee Angelos Valdivia "meadows, messenger angle," a name that not only rolled off my tongue but felt like home, a name that rang of exited shrieks and laughter, a name that rooted me to my family in Cuba. But most importantly, a name that felt like my own.
    Jose "Sixto" Cubias Scholarship
    Over the years, I've had many experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. One memory from my past that helped shape the core of who I am, starts in the early years of my life. Growing up, when I was around 5-6 years old, we were 10 people living in a small home. Even though we didn't have much, my family made the most of what we did have. I remember how my Abuela, Tia, and Mama would always hold These parties at the end of the month. They would cook all day, making delicious food and setting up games like Domino & karaoke. Then would invite family, friends, neighbors, and their kids. The backyard would turn into this haven of the community, where people came together to laugh and dance, causing an atmosphere of joy. Guest would bring over food and drinks and sometimes games of their own. My Mama usually took these parties as an opportunity to get others together, people she knew who were struggling or needed help. Whether that would be with their kids or struggling financially. She used these get-to-together as a way to offer help to them. While also creating an atmosphere of joy and community. I watched as my Mama and Tia would help those in our small community as much as possible, Offering the knowledge from their experiences and Tupper ware of leftovers to all who needed them. The memories of all those parties, seeing my family help others in our community. Instilled in me the need to help those around me and the belief that our actions, No matter how small, can still leave a positive impact on our community.
    Austin Kramer Music Scholarship
    They/them: those are my pronouns, as well as the title of a song by the musician atlas. This song inspires me to be comfortable in my identity as a genderqueer person. The playlist of 10 songs that follow, I curated to be representative of my coming out journey and the difficulties that I overcame. Body-Mother mother D & D Is Gay (But So Am I So This Tracks)-Newgrounds Death Rugby Dysphoria- Saint Wellesley Bugbear-Chloe Moriondo Class of 2013- Mitski The/them/theirs-Worriers Chaotic Gender Neutral- Murder Person for Hire S.T.A.R. Child- The Orion experience Di4y- Human Petting Zoo they/them- atlas