One of the parts of my job that I enjoy the most is watching the teenagers I work with in the Museum Ambassadors program change and grow during the their two years with us. I recently asked some of our current and former Ambassadors to describe what they were like at the beginning of the program.
While some of our respondents are in their second year of the program and others were in the first class of graduates, all of the Ambassadors view themselves a bit differently now.
So what are these Ambassadors up to now? While they’ve have gone in a variety of directions, the program played in a role in many of the students’ current lives.
Karolena Kuhn, a current Museum Ambassador from Valley Forge High School, is studying visual communications and preparing for college. “Lately I have been working on my portfolio to go to art school. I’m super excited about some of the pieces I’ve done.”
Gloria Collins, a 2010-2011 Strongsville Ambassador, recently started her undergraduate degree in art history and is now a volunteer at the museum. “My first event was the Chalk Festival; I absolutely loved helping out and experiencing the unique sense of community that was formed as people from all over gathered to make something beautiful and creative together.”
Laurel Fehrenbach, who was part of the first class of the program in 2001, translated her experiences with the Ambassadors directly into her career. “I am a Public Programs Coordinator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum …I’m also in my second year of graduate school at the Bankstreet College of Education, getting my master’s in Leadership in Museum Education .”
Brittany Smith, a 2009-2011 Bedford High School Ambassador, changed her childhood plan to become an astronomer and is now studying game design at the Cleveland Institute of Art . “The program did actually play a role because the trips we took to the Cleveland Institute of Art helped guide me to be there.” Brittany’s creativity flows outside of the classroom as well. “Right now, I am about to attempt to make a cardboard costume for Halloween. I can’t wait to do it!”
Maia Matyas, a 2010-2011 Strongsville High School Ambassador, is now studying biology and studio art at Baldwin Wallace College . She found a way to combine her interests in science and art. “I am currently working on a series of paintings that are being donated to a local health center. It’s such an honor that I was chosen by the physicians to create works of art for all those who enter to see.”
Stay tuned for future updates from the Museum Ambassadors!
- Hajnal Eppley