Pharaoh: “A Different Way to Express Myself”

Pharaoh is a student at Myers Park High School on CIS Site Coordinator Renee Drake’s caseload. He recently participated in a six-week art therapy workshop that CIS arranged for students at Myers Park who were experiencing anxiety, trauma, grief, and other mental health concerns. 

Pharaoh is a 9th grader at Myers Park High School who loves the arts, musical theatre, drawing and painting. According to Renee Drake, his CIS Site Coordinator, Pharaoh is talented and very creative, and in fact had been accepted to the Northwest School of the Arts in theatre a few years ago. But family circumstances necessitated a move, and attending NWSA was no longer an option. Then Pharaoh’s mother passed away in December 2020. As an only child living with his father, the loss of his mother has been very difficult. Pharaoh is also open about exploring his gender identity and being a part of the LGBTQ community.

For the most part, Pharaoh is positive and upbeat, but he shared that some days it has been a struggle 
just to get out of bed. Drake felt that Pharaoh would enjoy and benefit from an art therapy workshop that she and two other Site Coordinators at Myers Park were planning to offer to selected students. The opportunity came along at a very good time for Pharaoh. He loved participating in the sessions, sharing that he got to meet new people and he liked how it was “a different way to express myself.”  

Pharaoh with CIS Site Coordinator Renee Drake (right).

And good news came Pharaoh’s way this spring not long after the workshop.  After a very tough year academically the year his mother passed away where he earned only two credits, he learned from Drake that he gained enough credits this school year to be promoted to the 10th grade! Congrats to you, Pharaoh!