Designing Careers

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Another important part of the AOAT career preparation process is the annual Career Exploration Visit. This year’s hosts – Midnight Oil and Impress Communications – are two leading contenders in the high end design and printing fields. And both were extending this incredible opportunity to the students not for the first time – Midnight Oil was the host of our very first CEV six years ago, and Impress has hosted AOAT twice before! We cannot thank these generous companies enough for welcoming young people into their domains and opening their eyes to possible careers. Touring and learning about the many facets of – and specialties within – the field they are studying in school gives our students the awareness they need to visualize their own futures.

And we couldn’t have organized and carried out these trips without Mr. Diebold who called and followed up with the company contacts. And a shout out as well to our chaperones – alumni Marcy Saylor and Michael Trimarchi, student teacher Jesse Sosa, and Advisory Board members George Roberts and John Ford – thank-you!

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Thanks Again, Intern Hosts!

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We are so grateful to all our outstanding hosts for mentoring the interns this summer. And thanks, also, Ms. Prato, for taking these great portraits! Anyone interested in hosting a student next summer, please get in touch!! Email addresses are on the AOAT website: theaoat.org!

Interns Celebrate Completing Their Summer Assignments

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The excitement was palpable as interns arrived to help with setting up the classrooms for the evening. Girls in heels and boys in ties moved chairs and tables and reviewed their presentations, then the guests began to arrive. A bountiful potluck supper provided by students and their families was followed by the dynamic Project Expo. This is a series of five-minute rotations, when interns present their final project and an overview of their summer experience through a powerpoint. The room was packed with hosts and families jockeying for seats to hear the students tell their stories.

The final portion of the evening was the awarding of certificates to interns and portrait photographs. This is when we thank the hosts for their generous support, and the parents for encouraging their children to participate. Another successful summer program completed, and the teachers have one last week to rest before fall semester begins…

 

Interns Learning Firsthand About Work

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This summer 28 rising seniors are working what is, for most, their first job, while earning school credit for Work Experience. And beyond expanding their skills and preparation for the real world, they are also having a great time! Interns are placed based on their career interests, and this summer there are students at hospitals, a law office, a youth center, a senior center, a fashion boutique, a real estate company, an insurance company, a chamber of commerce, a restaurant, a cupcake bakery, a fitness center…and of course at design companies (our academy career path)! Interns also attend the weekly seminar class at school where each session focuses on transferrable skills such as stress management, time management, job satisfaction, etc. Two weeks down, four to go, so “follow” this newsblog for more stories about our terrific group of young people and their summer journeys…

Class of 2016: Graduation!!

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Dressed the part, our beaming grads receive their hard-won diplomas and bid farewell to friends and familiar territory. The next step begins now: college, jobs, independence, careers. Go forth and explore the world, dear Class of ’16, and come back to share your discoveries and inspire those that follow. We are very proud of you!!!

Nutrition Unit Informs and Inspires Great Design

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This capstone project follows an extensive unit learning about nutrition and the food industry in America. Seniors can choose to work solo or with one partner to design packaging for a healthy food item. The assignment is introduced by designer Todd Gallopo, owner of boutique design company Meat and Potatoes, who talks with the students about the marketing and design process for packaging, his speciality. The culmination is a competition among the student designers – judged by Todd – for top honors in several categories. Congratulations everyone – this year’s packages were creative, amusing, attractive, in other words: successful!

College Visits in Four Directions!

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Every year we take the 10th graders to tour UCLA, introducing them to a high goal to work towards. Then in 11th grade students visit colleges more in their attainable range. This year for the first time we polled the Juniors to see what their dream college experience would be, and then took them to a school aligned with their interests. Our art and design aspirants toured Art Center College of Design in Pasadena; those looking for the variety of options at at California State University visited CSULA; and the students who wanted a two-year program with certificates in many trade fields had an exciting day at LA Trade Tech! We hope we can continue to provide this variety of experiences tailored to student preferences, but the costs for buses and substitute teachers is straining our budget. Maybe we should apply for some scholarships!!!