Several high school students from the San Antonio area were recognized by former President Barack Obama for their volunteer community service. The students also received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. One of those students is Reagan High School senior Sabrina Epstein.
Epstein is the founder of Artful Start. She works with the special-needs community using her art talents.
"The primary goal is to introduce these activities to people with special needs, but secondary is to reduce that stigma. And I have found that I have learned so much," Epstein said.
When she was younger, Epstein attended summer camps. Then several years ago, she started working at Camp Children's Association for Maximum Potential, or Camp CAMP, a summer camp for children with special needs that turned her life in a new direction.
"I decided that I really wanted to take action and do more throughout the year to help the community," Epstein said.
Epstein started Artful Start and now holds events several times a month year-round, using art as a form of communicating with her students and getting them to express themselves.
"One really unique thing about art is that it is really a tool for unification, because when you come up with different activities that you're really able to participate in, regardless your level of ability, then it is something that everyone can participate in and get joy from," Epstein said.
While Epstein is helping those with special needs, she said she has come to realize certain things.