Mayfield Art Students Participate in the Memory Project

Seven students in Mayfield’s Jr/Sr High School Advanced Studio Art class recently participated in the Memory Project, a youth arts organization that promotes intercultural understanding and kindness between children around the world. 

The Memory Project’s intention is to provide special memories to children around the world who face tough challenges by having art students create handmade, realistic portraits as a way to honor them, provide encouragement and promote self-esteem. 

Mayfield art teacher, Jeremy Lebediker, has supported this program for years, encouraging his students to participate in this special project. After taking a break during the pandemic years, Mr. Lebediker’s class is back at it. This year’s class was given the task of creating portraits of child refugees from Syria. 

“We live in a very small area and I like giving the students an opportunity to be exposed to bigger issues going on in the world,” said Lebediker. “I find that this project is one that students work the hardest on. They see that others in the world are facing their own struggles, and they truly care about doing something that brings joy to someone who needs it.”

The Memory Project has been fortunate to have 320,000 youth in 57 countries involved in this school-based program since 2004. It aims at “creating a kinder world through art”, and that’s exactly what Mayfeld students feel they are doing.

“The kids we did portraits of don’t have much. Giving them something that will brighten their day was really important to me,” said 11th grader Jesslin Ochoa. 

Ochoa, like all students in the class, was allowed to choose the portrait she wanted to work on after reading their background information and feeling a special connection. 

“She likes to paint, just like me,” Ochoa said, referring to her portrait subject. 

After sending their portraits in, participating schools receive a video of the children opening their personalized artwork for the first time. These videos of joy and appreciation show each student involved exactly what a powerful impact their artwork has had.

By creating an opportunity for students to see part of themselves in others despite their differences in appearance, culture, religion or circumstances, the Memory Project and participating schools are working together to create a kinder world for all. Visit to learn more.