Jacksonville woman uses power of art to help kids in need pursue dream

Part of business sales goes toward art supply donations

By Joy Purdy - 5:30, 6:30 & 11 p.m. anchor, Melanie Schultz - Media content editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A local business owner and artist is paying it forward after achieving a dream she never gave up on.

Jessica Cone owns and operates Vee Art Studios, an art studio making a difference in the community. It offers illustration and graphic design services for both personal and commercial use.

Vee Art Studios studio is no ordinary business. Fifteen percent of all sales goes toward the Mentoring and Outreach Program, which helps troubled students interested in digital art get computer hardware and software needed to get started free of charge.

Cone recently surprised a young student named Rodney with a laptop, drawing tablet and software. They were brand-new supplies he could use to pursue his dream of creating digital art.

"We have a lot of children here that have talent and they don't have the proper support for it," Cone said.

Cone said she struggled to start her own business back in 2010, but last summer she was able to get funding from a small group of sponsors at Spring Glen United Methodist Church who were encouraged by her determination.

"I didn't give up," Cone said. "I kept commissioning and doing pieces and stuff, you know, hoping and praying that one day I'd be able to actually have enough money to start helping kids along this journey."

And that she did.

Cone posted a video on her Twitter account showing the moment she surprised Rodney with the art supplies to help pursue his talent.

"I feel like it was one of the best investments ever," Cone said.

Last year between July and December, the Vee Art Studios Outreach Program was able to assist two teenagers. Cone hopes she can help more kids in 2018 and more years to come.

Cone started a GoFundMe page for anyone wanting to donate and help pave the way for the Vee Art Studios Outreach Program.

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