By: Dezaray Barr
Angi Aldrich graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2000 with two bachelor’s degrees in both painting and illustration. While at IWU, she also took multiple education classes.
Aldrich said that as she was graduating and during her senior year, IWU began the emphasis on World Changers. One of her professors, Dr. Coffman, had a large impact on her art education. Aldrich said, “Dr. Coffman told my class that the world does not need artists who are Christian, but that the world needs Christians who are artists.” This brought to the forefront of her mind that she wanted to be a world changer with her art, and she wanted to make a real difference, as an artist who is a Christian, in the world.
Since graduation, Aldrich has experienced many up and downs of life. In 2012, Aldrich lost her husband to a terminal illness. After his death, Aldrich and her young son were given the opportunity to become members of a flight organization, Flight1. Flight1 is designed for children ages five to eighteen who face terminal illness or have lost an immediate family member to terminal illness. This organization gave Aldrich hope again. “I got to see my son blossom again, and he finally got the twinkle back in his eyes,” she said.
Immediately, Aldrich knew that this was her world changing opportunity that God was giving her. Shortly after being introduced to the program, Aldrich was given the opportunity to be on the board of the organization. She has now been serving on the board for two years. “I get to watch this program take off and impact more people and more families,” she said with enthusiasm.
As she continued her higher education, accomplishing her last semester this past spring, Aldrich had to select a thesis. Following her passion, Aldrich chose to do her thesis over Flight1 and those who are impacted by the organization. “I desired to capture the moment when the child realized they have overcome something,” she said. “I combined the moment they had forgotten the world’s problems with the moment they overcame.”
Flight1’s photographer takes a photo of the children during their flight, and then gives the pictures to Aldrich. Aldrich then turns the photographs into paintings.
Aldrich continues to see God’s opportunities, allowing her to light up Flight1’s community with her paintings. She said, “I love what I get to do. It’s an honor.”
Learn more about Flight1 and their mission here, http://flight1.org/.
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a Sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.