Social-emotional arts-based education in inner cities and Tijuana orphanages organization. http://www.ArtsBT.org
The success of professional actor Jose Yenque can be measured in part by his many credits in films and television shows over the past decade. However, those credits tell only part of the story of Yenque’s success. His ongoing commitment to reaching out to communities, locally as well as internationally, and his devotion to using the arts as a vehicle to help others improve their lives, is something that makes Yenque not only a successful actor, but also a successful human being.
In 2002, Yenque was introduced to an orphanage in an impoverished rural area of Tijuana Mexico, where he formed an immediate bond with the children there. Casa Hogar Sion (formerly El Faro), is an orphanage that supports approximately 100 children of all ages, and provides them with love, support, nurturing, and shelter despite the dire conditions of their lives.
Making A difference
One child, in particular, Israel, caught Yenque’s attention early on. He was a 10-year of orphanage resident who had already had a rough start in life. After working closely with him, and visiting him regularly over the years, Israel began to open up about his feelings of anger, started talking and releasing those feelings, and began to grow emotionally. By 2011, Israel turned 18, finished high school, and went on to attend college.
Israel credits much of his success to Yenque, whom he considers his honorary father.
Expanding the cause
At the age of 14 years, Yenque’s life was turned around by the transformative power of art when his mother New York veteran actress Teresa Yenque (30 Rock, Law & Order) enrolled him in a drama workshop that helped him go from a shy, 230lbs young man who stuttered, to a confident and gifted actor, at home on the stage and comfortable with himself.
Thanks to this life-changing experience, Yenque has a passion for helping teens make it through those sometimes-difficult years, using art as a vehicle for the development of life skills and self-confidence.
His 13 plus years of humanitarian efforts and educational outreach include substantive and ongoing service to the youth of the Casa Hogar orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, motivational talks at orphanages and youth development centers throughout Latin America, and lectures/workshops on high school/college campuses from coast to coast.
In 2012 Yenque created Arts for a Better Tomorrow (ABT), an international arts program that harnesses the transformational and healing powers of the theater and media arts, to effect real change and offer positive paths to the future for at-risk youth on both sides of the border. The program does more than just work with teens in Tijuana orphanages and US inner city public schools. The program uses the ABT network to connect students on both sides of the border through video messaging teaching empathy while creating an international camaraderie.
Video: Casa Hogar Sion Orphanage