I’m about two weeks into my second practicum of grad school, and I still can’t quite decide what on earth I’m going to do with my social work degree. Lots of things seem to be the perfect mix of fun + challenging, including this.
I’m working at an organization that provides art apprenticeships to low (and in most cases, very low) income teens. They learn various art disciplines from professional artists, get a bank account, and are paid for their work. We teach them skills in college preparedness and job readiness all the while.
On Tuesday, we interviewed 30-some teens for 24 spots. Many of them are really talented, and all of them could use the extra money. On Thursday, I tallied their interview scores and double checked their families’ tax forms for financial need. Many of their families make less than $10,000 with several kids to care for. Several of our apprentices are young moms. I got to call kids and their parents to tell them they’d been chosen for our program, and it was a joy to hear their excitement. My boy has been having all sorts of blessing coming his way, one mom told me. He’s been offered two full-ride scholarship for his art, and he’ll get to do this and save up money for extra expenses, she explained.
I’ll be doing marketing, social media, grant writing, and one-on-one career counseling with these kids. Gaining skills is fun, yes, but I really just can’t wait to get to know these teens better.