Summer internships hold life lessons for students

Editor’s note:

The La Jolla Light put out a request to local students for reports on summer internships. We received these two, and share them with readers in the hope they motivate other students to plan for next summer!
Outside the Lens

By Shannon Blue

La Jolla High School

My dad always told me that an American 16-year-old not working during the summer was bizarre. The best I could do was volunteer for something that would last longer than a couple of hours at a soup kitchen.

While searching for an internship, I came across a nonprofit organization called Outside the Lens, run by a family friend, Elisa Thomson.

The purpose of Outside the Lens is to teach underprivileged kids photography, which immediately caught my interest. During one program, at Casa de Amistad, I was acquainted with a group of youths who were older grade school students. My first impression was a shy collection of kids, maybe not ready to hold creativity by the reins. However, I was propitiously mistaken.

Not only did these kids demonstrate profound intelligence and curiosity, they grabbed creativity by the bit. We presented these kids with projects that challenged the imagination and artistic skill, yet each individual project was executed with originality and talent.

The photos they created were not just objects with blank meanings; these kids produced works of art with only a brief explanation on viewpoints and elements of design. Even written pieces were successfully created despite the redundant cues. During the four-week program, they got experience with professional cameras and props, learned the styles of Hockney and stop-motion, and discovered their individuality through self-portraits and thought about their definitions of hope.

I was astounded, yet stayed hard at work entertaining the early finishers. What also kept me busy was the scheduled exhibition that was held at the La Colonia Park Community Center.

The satisfaction of being a part of it all was wonderful, regardless of the modesty of the place. Compliments were gratifying, but watching the expressions on these proud children’s faces made me prouder yet.

It might not seem intuitive that these kids would learn the depths of photography, but if you allow these minds to open, they will flourish.

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San Diego State Student interns with Coastwise Credit union in La Jolla