I sit on the Board for the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida, a non-profit headquartered in Gainesville. Their mission is to help people with disabilities live more independently. While the mission is simple, the ways in which they undertake that mission are extremely varied, including sign language interpreting, services for the blind, wheelchair ramp construction, and so on. One of their programs is the High School High Tech program and one part of that program is hosting internship opportunities for high school kids interested in pursuing careers in technological fields.
I was thrilled to have an opportunity to host a High School High Tech student intern this summer. And I am especially pleased that student was Tia!
Tia split her time between my office and the office of Joe Osburn the Publications Coordinator at University of Florida Performing Arts. We figured that way she was able to experience the environments of both an in-house designer and a freelance designer.
Joe and I were both wowed by how quickly Tia learned and grew. She’s smart, funny, creative and so talented! Right away Joe introduced her to Adobe Illustrator, which is one of the more tricky programs graphic designers use. We both love it, but some people never get comfortable with it! Well, Tia took to it immediately and picked up a new skill every day.
She started by recreating some of her own pieces of artwork. Then in her last week, we created a logo together! (shown below) Tia selected the font and built the final vector version that will be used for a series of thoroughbred horse riding competitions. The feedback she received on the logo was stellar!
An unexpected added benefit of sharing an office with a creative 17 year old is that she introduced me to several new bands that we listened to while we worked (i.e. Twenty One Pilots). It has had a lasting impact on my workday soundtrack! William, became attached to her right away, as you can see in the photos.
The studio shined a little brighter for the few weeks Tia was around! I’m certain she’ll be able to tackle any goal she puts her mind to!!!
To learn more about the CILNCF or the High School High Tech program, visit their website www.cilncf.org.