San Diego State University

Armed With a Paint Brush & Some Cool Kicks, Local Artist Uses Talents to Give Back

San Diego State University sophomore Cierra Bush is using some of the proceeds from her sneaker painting business "Cee My Kicks" to help others

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Cierra Bush is a kinesiology major at San Diego State University but when she's not attending classes online, working or mentoring other students, the sophomore is finding creative ways to give back -- through her art.

Bush has been an artist for as long as she can remember.

“My mom always says it was when I was like 4," Bush said. "She used to put me in art classes."

She uses her art to express what she's feeling, and between the ongoing fight for social justice, the election and the pandemic, she's been feeling a lot lately.

"Having my artwork kind of helps me, you know, stay sane," she said.

While working on a project for the Henrietta Goodwin Scholars Program at SDSU, she was inspired to hold a backpack drive for foster children in Los Angeles.

"It was a huge success. We got to do 115 backpacks," she said.

Now, she's also helping others, through her custom shoe painting business "Cee My Kicks."

"Funny story," she said. "I was never gonna paint shoes.”

Until she realized she could use some of the money she earned to give back. She now paints shoes and sells them through her Instagram account. Some of the proceeds go to various charities.

Last month, she helped raise money for "I Can Fly International," an organization that helps children in East Africa and other impoverished areas around the world.

And she isn't stopping there.

“I feel like if you wanna help people, and you have the ability to help people, then you should,” Bush said.

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