While simultaneously trying to balance busy careers and raise a family, husband and wife duo Federico and Cecilia Pena felt like they were being pulled in every direction, so, they decided to make a career change. They wanted something that would allow them to create their own schedules and spend more time with their family, but most importantly, they wanted an opportunity that would have a positive impact on the community in Houston.
Similarly, entrepreneur Sonja Traxler Nwabuoku worked in the corporate world for many years, but she found herself drawn to the idea of working with children. She wanted an opportunity that would put her business skills to the test while also making an impact on the lives of children.
While this seemed like a tall order for both, the Penas and Sonja found everything they were looking for in Young Rembrandts.
Young Rembrandts is a national leader in art education and offers programs for children starting as early as 3.5 years to 12 years. With a unique step-by-step process, Young Rembrandts curriculum is based on the philosophy that “anyone can draw’. The program uses simple shapes to break down complicated pieces, creating masterpieces worthy of Rembrandt himself.
The Penas opened their first location in August of 2016 in North Houston. Sonja recently opened her Southwest Houston location in October 2018. Following the success of the Penas’ first location and the fulfillment they received day in and day out from running their Young Rembrandts business, the Penas decided to open a second location in West Houston in 2019.
“Our goal is to provide art education for as many children as we can,” said Federico, who formerly worked in the oil and gas industry. “The success of our first location coupled with the joy of making art more easily accessible to children in the area has reminded us just how important cultural enrichment is to the community. We’ve seen kids make great strides – cognitively, developmentally, and artistically. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child excitedly showcase their artwork to their parents and proudly state they created the piece from start to finish.”
The Penas and Sonja bring their classes to schools and park districts in the area. Their busiest season is during the school year, as Young Rembrandts serves as a popular after-school program. Cecilia, Federico, and Sonja believe Young Rembrandts is an essential part of a child’s growth because it provides them with an activity that makes them eager and motivated to go to school. After-school art programs like Young Rembrandts provides a number of benefits for children, such as heightened social skills, safety and supervision, boosted confidence and a sense of belonging.
“I love the idea that we’re doing something to bring more joy and beauty to the world,”
added Sonja. “It’s extremely rewarding to be able to empower these kids and show them that they can do whatever they set their minds to by staying on task, organizing their minds and following a process.”
For more information on the program, visit www.youngrembrandts.com.