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Breaking Barriers logo


Through Our lens


Through Our Lens Home
Leslie Elsasser - Introduction
Selina Roman - Looking Inward, Seeing Clearer
Christian Cortes

Beginning (Section A)
Jarrett Gafford - US Air Force
Dawn S. Hargrett - US Navy
Rebekka Huneke - Daughter of US Air Force Veteran Father
Ramonita Rosa - US Army
Kimberlee Nicole Smith - US Army
Monika Sutton - Wife of US Army Veteran
Karl Young II - US Army Colonel (US Special Operations Command)

Advanced (Section B)
James Alexander - US Air Force
Manfredo Bobadilla - US Army
Wildalys Class - US Air Force
Agustin Collazo Jr. - US Marine Corps / US Navy
Amanda Dodd - US Army
Evan Fountain - US Air Force
Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps
Alicia Morales - US Army
RaeAnne Swanson - US Air Force


Manfredo Bobadilla, The Perfect Moment, 2022.

Manfredo Bobadilla, The Perfect Moment, 2022.


The Perfect Moment

You see my cat, Mooshu Bear, inside his declared safe space, the Amazon Box. While looking out of the peep hole, Mooshu Bear is waiting for the perfect moment to come out, attack, and capture his prey. His eyes are massively dilated, making it easier for him to examine the environment that’s on the other side of his peep hole. His whiskers gently touch the box, sending him the message that he can fit his body through the hole.

I am standing over him, one hand on my phone, the other is holding his cat toy hovering over the peep hole, giving him opportunities to come out and claim the toy his prey. As I wait for him to capture the toy, I simultaneously am waiting for the perfect moment to take a picture.

This picture describes the life that I have had with my kitten since I adopted him. Every day there’s a perfect moment we share, whether it is a picture, a shared moment of play, or even a perfect time to lay down and take cat naps together.

It also illustrates the story of how my cat came into my life.

Three months after I separated from the military, I too was inside the safe space of my apartment. I was sheltered inside the box, away from my family and my military friends. I was starting a new chapter in life, and it was a scary one. Three months after separation, as I was waiting for school to start, I started to become anxious. My mental health was taking a toll. I was a Veteran that had just left a three-year tour from Germany, separated after nine years in service, and starting a new life in Tampa, a city where I’ve never lived in before. The stress and anxiety were battling against me.

This was also the perfect moment that my mother found a hungry little kitten, scared of the world, sitting by a bush across from her apartment. She fostered this kitten for a day and drove him up to me the next day. She was bringing me my new companion in life. 

She found the perfect moment to introduce me to my best friend, the one who is there for my mental health and stability.  



Manfredo Bobadilla, Serenity, 2022.

Manfredo Bobadilla, Serenity, 2022.

Manfredo Bobadilla, Seeing is Believing, 2022.

Manfredo Bobadilla, Seeing is Believing, 2022.



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at

Breaking Barriers is a project by USFCAM in collaboration with the USF School of Art and Art History, with Support from the USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant Program of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Love IV Lawrence 2020 Waves of Change Grant, and additional support from the ACE Arts for Community Engagement Fund and the Florida Department of State.