Talented and bright local teenagers are turning their passions into potential career choices, sources of income and opportunities for change. Cheyanne Atole, Maria Sol Duenas Marques, Jaden Estrellado and Ryo Eda are only a few of Guam's youth working to grow their skills into something special.
Cheyanne Atole, a 16-year-old Knight from St. John's School, recently started selling her art for commission. She works with oil paints and other mediums to create her pieces. Her prices mainly depend on the size, materials and time required to complete her painting.
"A goal for my customers is that they can hold sentimental value in my paintings and see the hard work that was put into them. Hopefully, they will keep them for years," Atole said.
With her love for art, which she's had since she was a little girl, Atole hopes to share her love with others. By selling her art, she not only has the goal to earn her own spending money, but to also raise enough to donate to a local charity.
She attributes her courage to her main supporters: her parents, art teacher Mr. Skvaril and history teacher Ms. San Nicolas. Each individual has played a vital role in providing her with confidence, advice, materials and an environment to work in.
After high school, Atole says, she'll have to put her work on a short pause while she focuses on her other career. However, she said she will continue painting since it will always be a favorite hobby of hers.
• Instagram: @xvtole
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Sol Duenas Marques, a 14-year-old freshman from Notre Dame High School, is a fashion fanatic who became dedicated to her craft of making jewelry and accessories in 2018.
Her pieces are upcycled and handmade and range from $5 to $20. She also paints designs on thrift denim and hosts fashion shows showcasing her pieces and in collaboration with local businesses, such as Sustainable Sisters.
Marques details how she has a passion for making items out of what others might consider to be junk and figuring out how they can be reused ever since she was young.
"It all started with some broken earrings and scrap earring hooks... (after I started upcycling) I started wearing my earrings. People really expressed an interest in the designs and in wanting to purchase them," Marques said.
Marques has accomplished a lot through the encouragement of her greatest supporters: her mom, her friend Aly Delrosario and inspirational CHamoru artist, activist and local business owner Ursula Herrera.
After high school, Marques wishes to continue her business. She desires to keep creating with the intention to inspire others and to make her customers feel confident and unafraid to think outside the box.
• Instagram: @riseandshine.gu
Jaden Estrellado, a junior from Tiyan High School, is a seasoned young photographer. He normally charges around $45 to $115 depending on his client's request.
For Estrellado, his hobby and love for photography started around 2016. He had received the iPhone 7 as a gift and found himself taking photos of everything. He later got his first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera and learned everything he needed to take professional photos.
"I simply enjoy it. Whether it's a fashion shoot or a family shoot, I get to capture a memorable moment at that time for my client ... I want to capture unique moments in their life for them," he said.
The proficient photographer is very appreciative of those he's met through his business. He sees every single photo shoot as a stepping stone. Through each person he's met, he was referred to others and his name soon spread locally on social media.
Currently, Estrellado is still contemplating whether he'll make a career out of his photography, but he does plan to continue the business after graduation to raise money as he is now.
• Instagram: @jaden_estrellado
• Email: email@example.com
• Phone number: +1(671)686-7903
Ryo Eda, an 18-year-old senior from Harvest Christian Academy, is an aspiring young barber. Although he is still a student and doesn't charge due to being unlicensed, he typically receives a $10 donation per haircut.
Eda started his voluntary service, Ryozcutz, in March 2017, but his hobby began back when his friend Kai planned to cut his own hair and Eda convinced his friend to let him do it.
Since then he has grown to become the "go-to" barber for many of his peers.
"I believe as a barber, it is a perfect time to share stories and any sort of wisdom. When a client sits in my chair, my job is to give a quality cut while keeping a conversation so the customer won't end up bored. I have to be flexible with each customer as they all have different stories to share. Whether it's negative or positive, I have to give the appropriate response," Eda said.
A stepping stone in Eda's service was when he partnered up with R.T. Tingson's, Stay Fresh Guam, to give out free haircuts to kindergarten through fifth graders at Hemlani Apartments.
After high school, Eda plans to go to Hawaii for barber's school and his barber's license. He then wishes to expand his career in Los Angeles, California, to gain more experience and form connections.
• Instagram: @ryozcutz