Based in Santa Monica, Bobbie Rich uses the painting mastery she developed at USC to stoke the creativity of kids across Los Angeles, from low-income housing developments and Boys & Girls Clubs to high-end bedroom communities.

“I work to create opportunities to connect my students to each other and to different nonprofit events, so that they have the benefit of escaping their bubble while doing good works, like painting murals or putting together care packages for less-fortunate people,” Rich says.

Rich minored in communication and graphic arts at USC and landed a job in the field through a school internship. That experience taught her that she couldn’t work in an office, she laughs. So she set out as a freelance artist. “I was able to utilize tools that I learned at Roski in graphic design, and also in advertising and business, to advertise myself. I’m a one-person shop.”

As a child who moved around the country every few years, Rich says she always had access to arts education in public schools. But she knows that’s not the case for a lot of kids today.

“Most of the kids have very limited art,” she says. “Even in high-end private schools, many only have art once a week. For other kids, sometimes once a month or every two months, parents will come in and teach an art project.” Parents often reach out to her for help. Even if finances are tight, arts remain a priority for many parents and their children, she says.