Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 23, 2013

Picturing success

Art project encouraged Kokomo teen to aim higher.

An unfinished mural in the halls of Kokomo High School gave senior Trevor Douglas a reason to come to school every day and a reason to aim higher in life.

On Wednesday afternoon, he picked up a paintbrush, dipped it in gray and blue paint and slowly filled in the outline of a sleek skyscraper in the Kokomo High School hallway.

As he worked, students passed by him and admired his creation.

“Lookin’ good,” one student said.

Douglas smiled. He can’t help but smile, he said.

He long ago lost track of the number of classmates who have stopped to stare at the mural he is painting at the school. So many have paid him compliments he’s not even sure he deserves.

“It makes you feel so good,” he said. “It makes me want to keep going with it.”

Months ago, teachers at the high school asked Douglas to design and paint a mural in the school that symbolizes education and its components.

He was surprised they even thought of him, he said. There are so many talented artists at the school, but Douglas said he couldn’t turn down their request. So, he quickly sketched a design that included skyscrapers, a book, a paint palette, beakers, a ruler and even a globe.

The project gave him a new purpose at school.

“It makes you want to be here,” he said. “It gives you a reason to be here.”

Douglas admitted he struggled in the classroom. Grades have always been a problem, especially in math.

“Me and math haven’t always gotten along,” he said, with a laugh.

No matter how hard he studied, his grades never reached higher than C’s and D’s, he said. So his plan was to graduate a semester early with his general diploma and enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.

However, with this new project, he couldn’t really do that. He had to stay in school for the rest of the year.

He took some extra classes to fill out his schedule.

Douglas enlisted a teacher’s help to get through his Algebra II class; he now has a 77 percent. He brought his other grades up to A’s and B’s. There are actually more A’s than B’s, he pointed out.

And May 31 he will graduate along with about 450 of his Kokomo High School classmates. But it won’t be with the general diploma he once thought he’d get. He’s done enough in the last semester to earn a Core 40 diploma — the state’s college readiness diploma.

Douglas’ plan is still to join the Marines after school lets out. But he said it’s nice to know that college is still an option.

He can see himself going to art school and opening up Trevor’s Studio some day — something that never crossed his mind before.

Principal Rick Hagenow called him a “fine young man.”

He said Douglas is a good example of how different students learn in different ways. For Douglas, it’s through art.

“When you give them a chance to show what their talents are, they’re more engaged in all aspects of school,” the principal said.

Douglas said that was true. That mural was the catalyst he needed to finish high school strong.

Douglas has worked three or four hours a day for weeks on his mural and will return even after he graduates to finish it up. He said he wants it to look just right. Hagenow understands why. This is the legacy Douglas will leave at the school. Even thinking about that made the teen smile.

“I want to be able to come back in 15 or 20 years and see that was the mark I left,” he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Sobriety checkpoints planned for today in Kokomo The Howard County Sheriff Department announced deputies will conduct a multi-jurisdictional enforcement checkpoint targeting impaired drivers in Howard County today. Officers from the Kokomo Police Department and troopers from the Indiana State Polic

    August 22, 2014

  • Miami Co. jobless rate falls to 6-year low PERU – The unemployment rate in Miami County dropped to a six-year low in July but, despite the decrease, the county still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.Miami County’s unemployment rate slid from 7.2 percent in June to 6.9 pe

    August 22, 2014

  • NWS KT 082114 Debra Cook award LS Ivy Tech honors Debra Cook with Alumni Achievement Award Debra Cook had made up her mind to earn a master’s degree, though she knew it would be challenging while raising three children and working full-time.Ivy Tech Community College provided her the first step in achieving that goal, and earlier this mont

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • VFW commander injured in crash The post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1152 suffered head and other injuries when he crashed his motorcycle Wednesday evening on East Lincoln Road.A Kokomo Police Department accident report stated Kenneth A. Fisher, 67, was riding a

    August 22, 2014

  • Lordeman + Ohio Accident 02 Woman seriously injured in Ohio Street crash A 42-year-old woman suffered multiple injuries Thursday afternoon after the van she was driving was struck head-on by a Jeep on North Ohio Street.Kokomo police at the scene said Holly DeWitt, 42, suffered multiple fractures to her arms and legs and h

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City-Line Trolley 04 Riders see numerous benefits to City-Line Trolleys As Sharon Sanchez waits for the Red Line trolley to take her to work at Steak N’ Shake on South Reed Road, she can’t imagine her life without the busing system. Sanchez rides the bus to work from downtown to the south part of town and to events at Ch

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • City-Line Trolley 03 City Line Trolley ridership up 31 percent Any questions about the demand for public transportation in Kokomo have been answered since the city expanded its routes for the City Line Trolley last July. The bus service has seen its passenger totals increase 31 percent since it added three new l

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crash One injured in two-vehicle crash on Ohio Street

    A 42-year-old woman suffered multiple injuries Thursday afternoon after the van she was driving was struck head-on by a Jeep on North Ohio Street.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Robert Lee Rev. Robert A. Lee’s candidacy once again challenged For the second time, Rev. Robert A. Lee’s candidacy for Center Township Trustee is being challenged in what Howard County Democratic Chair David Tharp has described as an act of “singling out” the retired pastor. Lee’s candidacy for township trustee

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • IU grad wins $100,000 technology startup prize BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A recent Indiana University graduate has won a $100,000 technology prize that will finance his new startup company devoted to improving hearing aids and prosthetics. Gregory Mattes graduated this year from IU's Kelley School

    August 21, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.