Diary of an Intern: Designing Your Future•
Have you ever stumbled upon a really amazing opportunity that you wish you knew about when you were in high school? I have had this feeling on many occasions, but this time, it made me feel good knowing that there is an organization out there that has similar goals to Opportunity Nation: give students a jump start into their passions and builds the connections that are missing.
While growing up in a suburb of Rhode Island, I had a significant love for art. I always carried a sketchbook, constantly looked through picture books, experimented with different crafty materials, took drawing classes, and spent my summers at different art schools. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I decided to study the art of design as a potential career. It’s hard to avoid the world of design because it’s present everywhere. It’s in the window of your favorite clothing store, hanging as posters on the walls of your dorm room, and on every box of cereal. I wanted to be a part of the idea building, creative thinking, and strategic planning of the art form that the world has become dependent on.
During my first year in art school, I stumbled upon a special organization while working on a design education research project. Youth Design is a summer internship program for urban area high school students to link their talents and passions of design to a professional work environment. The Youth Design program was built to recognize the abilities that urban area high school students have and to bring awareness to the public about career opportunities in art, specifically in design. The students who participate in the program get paid for their contributions and time as they work on individual and company projects. This organization features exposure to being a professional designer, brings a fresh look to new ideas on real life projects, and involves mentors who support the students by helping them build their futures. This is just one of the opportunities for young people to pursue their dreams and build on their talents.
I think back to this organization every summer and wonder about the students who have graduated from the program. Where are they now? Are they following their dreams? How are they expanding on the world of design? I still wish I could go back in time to be a part of this artistic high school community. For now, I am applying my design skills as an intern to the Be The Change, Inc. in-house projects, using my strategic thinking skills on their social media outlets, and building my portfolio to graduate college next May. Yikes!