I’m Cristina Powell

I like to reach out to people, especially in hospitals and the medical community, with my main focus on bringing comfort to those suffering from chronic pain and illness. I do this through my art, a kind hello and a gentle smile with patients, their families, friends and staff. This makes me feel good and people say it gives them hope and inspiration. I’m very thankful and proud of what I can do.

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Cristina’s “A brighter way” Story

In 1988, when I was four days old, I was adopted from Lima, Peru. At fifteen months, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and a movement disorder…not expected to walk or talk.

Thankfully, I do both!

Please don’t tell yourself, “I can’t!” I just know there has to be a better way for you. All you need to do is trust yourself and believe in yourself. You may not know it, but it’s leading you to…a brighter way.

I needed to learn in a special way because I didn’t fit the other way of learning, so… I needed to find my own… brighter way. Mom and I got creative and believed in ourselves…and opened my own school. This allowed me to be myself… to learn my way… and grow into a better person. My talents became more alive through home schooling.

At Paramount Charter in Kalamazoo, MI, Angela Newton, my art teacher discovered my talent and made it come alive - and my journey began as I created many paintings! With the help of artist Melody Allan, I had my first art exhibit at the Portage Public Library. When I’m in Michigan, I still enjoy learning from Melody and venturing into different techniques with my art. In Boston, I continue to do this work with Elizabeth Rocha. These teachers planted seeds in me, and with a little TLC, my artwork blossomed into a garden of color. Now, A Brighter Way is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit that allows me to share my artwork with the world!


Discover A Brighter Way

A Brighter Way

Just to let you know…this is my painting, called “A Brighter Way.” When I painted this in my art class, it took Mrs. Newton by surprise…and me, too! She said, “You have talent!” Can you believe…I now have over 100 paintings? I can’t!!!

I compare my life to a flower…blossoming and blooming…bright and cheerful…with lots of color, like my painting…“A Brighter Way.” My mom and I like to say…our lives are like a garden…always changing and challenging, but full of color, love and happiness.

When you read this story, I hope you can see and feel my…a brighter way.

Don’t forget: We are all unique, but we are the same. I walk slower and I may talk slower, but I am really just like you.


Cristina Powell dedicates her life to helping others who are suffering from chronic pain and illnesses. She lightens their hearts with her warm smile and kind words, gives them courage by sharing the story of her own medical challenges, and enriches their lives with her beautiful, happy art. Because Cristina has journeyed through the difficulties of Cerebral Palsy, she is especially able to listen to and embrace those who are suffering – with love, sensitivity and a knowing compassion. Through sharing her story, donating her artwork, and participating in community events, Cristina helps others find hope, comfort, and the courage to meet life’s challenges in A Brighter Way.

Thanks to the help of Harvard Law School and the U.S. Pain Foundation (USPF), A Brighter Way is officially an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation. We will continue our mission to bring hope, inspiration, comfort and joy, even healing through art, to all!