Alphanso Appleton is an artist, surfer, survivor of the Liberian Civil War, and a young man living with a purpose – to bring attention to the natural beauty and tourism potential of his home country that has for too long been associated with tragedy rather than possibility. Growing up in a post-conflict society with few resources and opportunities he has used his personal resilience and artistic talent to overcome the multitude of obstacles he faced personally, and to help his community heal. In 2016, he and his fellow surfers lead the Liberia Project, which repainted internationally acclaimed artwork on war-ravaged spaces in the coastal town of Robertsport. In 2017 Alphanso came to NYC where, with support from Strongheart, he is studying photography at the prestigious International Center for Photography. Alphanso’s dream is to use photography and art as a way to support youth and help them develop their own forms of creative expression and the confidence to follow their dreams. He hopes that together they can represent a brighter vision of their country – based on endless perfect waves and friendly welcoming people. To see examples of Alphanso’s work, click here.