Senior Profile: Yesenia Aguilar’s Ubuntu Arts Project


Yesenia Aguilar found Wheelock and loved being able to get into the field her first year as a Social Work major. A member of the Class of 2016, Yesenia takes to heart the advice she received from faculty to be the social worker or mentor she wished she might have had when she was younger.

She’s always been an involved student. Knowing her own transition into college wasn’t easy, she decided to become a Wheelock Orientation leader to help other new arrivals and says it was a rewarding experience.

Ubuntu Arts – “I Am Because You Are”

Throughout her four years at Wheelock, Yesenia worked on the Ubuntu Arts Project, a series of community-engagement programs based on the sub-Saharan African philosophy “Ubuntu.” Ubuntu means “I am because you are” and recognizes the humanity in everyone. She worked with area teens to create an art project, hoping to give them a voice and apply the Ubuntu philosophy to their own lives.

In this video, she shares an art project that represents the violence that affected the youth with whom she worked. Instead of using a canvas, one of the youths involved suggested using a door to represent a path for change.