This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
As a little girl, Mykaela Valentin would go into the attic of her Fox Chase home and sneak into an old chest that held her dad’s collection of comic books. She recalled falling in love with the work of the late Michael Turner — a comic book artist known for his style of drawing female characters with body curves.
“That’s how I learned to draw,” said Valentin, 21.
After graduating from high school, Valentin spent a year at Temple University, but she was lost and unsure about what she wanted to study. Eventually, she convinced her parents to invest in her pursuit of a degree from the Art Institute of Philadelphia.
But now, after she has completed six courses and spent thousands of dollars on tuition, she is facing the school’s closure of its Philadelphia campus and 30 others next month.