13668873_878293892315329_189672505794856422_oMy mother always says learn the most you can do, everything the small and the big things you don´t know when you are going to use them. Since I was a teenager I was always curious about arts and craft I learnt how to draw Manga, paint in wood, textile design and jewelry. When I grew up life took me to a different field and I decided to enroll at the University in Business Administration, it was a new knowledge for me and I really enjoyed it although my mind was always fascinated with the arts and the creation of new things.
Before coming to the United States, I didn´t know that I was going to use many things and experiences of my past during my Fellowship, it´s incredible how life can surprise you!. All started some months ago when I was talking with my supervisor about what I used to do before coming, I told her that one of my hobbies was doing jewelry and that I was starting my brand in Colombia called “Bonita”. So she asked me if I would like to start a new program of Jewelry with the kids, my answer was a Yes :). So I began this program in Fall on Mondays, each week I had my space to work hand by hand with a group of kids to teach them how to do Jewelry with different techniques. I was feeling really happy, because this program let me try new things and become “my hobby” in my job position. Months passed, and I run the program during Fall, Winter and Spring.
Summer, was my real test. During 6 weeks each teacher of the center developed a program. I decided to work in Jewelry and Entrepreneurship. The main objective of the program was to teach kids techniques of Jewelry with different materials like wire, thread and fabrics and at the same time work with them Entrepreneurship and Innovation methodologies.
I started the program with a group of nine teenagers, every day we worked in a variety of projects and activities that make them to develop artistic and analytical skills. Our classroom became a place where kids could create new designs, laugh, listen music and make new friends. Every Friday, was our fieldtrip day with the other tracks Poetry, Paper Making and Music. It was super fun, we did different plans, we went to zip line, to Cunningham falls, to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, the National Museum of Natural History and the Meridian Park.
At the end of the Summer, every track created a project for the final exhibition. We mixed the both topics that we worked during the past weeks and one of the projects was a mini market to sell our products. We created a Brand called “Hands on peace” and did different pieces inspired in the emotions that you feel when you are in peace. The kids were very focused in creating the pieces and were very excited to sell them, we put a stand at the LAYC and a lot of people bought our products :).
Summer, was a very special opportunity to close up the last days of my Fellowship. It gave me the chance to explore new skills, I began my first steps as a teacher! Also, I learnt how to handle complex situations, build bonds of friendship with new kids and I realized how a type of art like Jewelry can be an awesome tool to work with kids. I would like to share some thoughts of my students: “When I make jewelry I feel at peace and also calm” Gloria, “When I make jewelry I´m very calm and I isolate all negative things” Alejandro.


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