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Many of you have asked the origin of The Stardust Arts
Why is your art program named The Stardust Arts, my students have asked? Because. I believe in the power of mentoring and the good that comes from just “one” special person in your life. But, there is more.....
I believe that good happens when just “one” special person in your life believes in your capabilities, and sees something no other person sees in you. I had one such mentor when I was in high school, my art teacher, Mrs. Moncla. She not only provided me the encouragement and drive to take that step into the “unknown and reach for the stars”, but to be the best I could be. She gave me the confidence to move forward. That was in 1971 and in 1997 I had a dream to bestow an honor upon her. But how, she had given me so much. That dream became a reality in January 2007, when I started The Stardust Arts and it expanded countywide in May of 2009, with the support of the Kenneth A. Foundation and many others.
The origin of The Stardust Arts came from much consideration, and it just so happened that in 1997 I was approached by previous business connection from JPL Laboratories, who mentioned a very interesting space mission that would be inscribing names on microchips on the spacecraft Stardust. Thinking to myself, what a very “cool” thing to do, Cheryl Ehlers became part of more than 136,000 names collected from around the world that were carried to Comet Wild-2 aboard the Stardust spacecraft and inscribed on two of the chips on its way to an encounter Comet Wild-2.
Launching on February 7, 1999, the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to the exploration of a comet, and the first robotic mission designed to return extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the Moon from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida, returned after a seven-year, 2.9 billion-mile round trip, and not until January 2006, did NASA's Stardust space capsule float down to a landing in the Utah parachuting a reentry capsule weighing approximately 125 pounds to the Earth's surface of comet particles.
“The comet particles returned by the Stardust mission were a real bonanza. They contained some stardust grains from other stars, but the majority of solids are solar system materials that appear to have formed over a very broad range of solar distances and perhaps over an extended time range. Comet Wild 2 is a collection of materials that probably came from all regions of the young solar system and thus it has turned out to be wonderful, time capsule”.
Today one of the microchips remains inside the sample capsule, returned back to Earth, while the other microchip remains on the Stardust spacecraft, and will stay in deep space forever. At that time, The Stardust Arts become a reality, and January 2007 began a new journey in my life.
Since 2007, I have achieved both personal and professional goals past my wildest dreams, and have been successful in reaching out to others. Honored to be recognized by the CA State Assembly, and the United Nations, more important to me is sharing and supporting dreams and the success of youth. Focusing on youth has been at the forefront, and I can honestly say that after teaching over 14,300 students since 2007, I remain amazed and astonished by their accomplishments and love every minute of it, all thanks to one special person who made a difference in my life.
Welcome to my pride and joy, The Stardust Arts, and the development of creativity and imagination for youth, fueled by the belief, if you “reach for the stars you can achieve anything, if you simply try”.
You can visit Cheryl Ehlers Art at http://www.cparrotiseart.com and The Stardust Arts andit's acheievment with youth at http://www.thestardustarts.com, or call 760-519-1551.