Meet Susan Aghedo, ArtWorks Alumni, as she shares her thoughts and memories on her time as an ArtWorks intern, her accomplishments and upcoming projects!

Fun Fact: Susan participated in both Creative Writing and Visual Arts co-ops during her internships.

Why did you apply for the ArtWorks Internship program initially?
A teacher told my class about the ArtWorks program in high school. I have been an avid writer my whole life so when I heard about a summer program that would pay me to do what I love, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

How many years did you participate? If more than one, why did you apply again?
I participated as an intern for four years because beyond the technical art skills that I learned, I also loved the sense of community and the feeling of support. The Master Teaching Artists always pushed us to think outside of the box and, like Ms. Y loves to say, “focus on the process.” I felt a lot of mentorship from all the adults in the program, even those who I was not working directly with.

Why do you think A4L programming is important to our community’s youth?
I think A4L’s programming is important because it allows children to express and explore their creativity. There’s also a big push for them to think about how they can connect with their communities and the world around them.

What was your proudest moment while in the program, or the project you’re proudest of?
I remember one summer I made a wood cutout that was a tree on one side and a woman with an afro on the other. During the exhibition, someone actually purchased it! I was so proud that someone loved my art enough to pay for it.

Have you continued to pursue the arts? If so, tell us what you’re up to.
Even though I became a psychology major, I am still artistically inclined. I made a short film a couple years ago with a friend of mine that’s also an ArtWorks alumnus, and starred in another short film this past summer with another friend. I am still a big writer and recently co-created a podcast with some friends that connects psychology students to resoucses.

What has been a life lesson you’ve learned through the arts in general or during your time in the program?
I learned that I should always be myself, and should not fear this idea of taking up too much space. And of course, I learned to focus on the process, not the product.

What was the greatest impact being an A4L ArtWorks Intern had on you?
Being an A4L ArtWorks Intern helped me see the world through a more critical lens. It pushed me to take nothing at face value and be an inquisitive person who is always curious about how things came to be.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our students, parents, partners and community supporters?
I’m very grateful to have been an ArtWorks Intern. The program is really one of a kind and combines the best parts of a summer job, a summer camp, and a arts education. It’s a great way for young artists to network and refine their craft. Even if the arts doesn’t become a career for the interns, the relationships and professional skills it gives its interns are priceless.

What are you up to now? Any cool projects to share?
I’m currently in my final semester at FIU and for all my psychology students (or general psychology lovers) out there, check out PASSIng into the Future on Spotify & Youtube!

The ArtWorks Internship Program is generously supported by The Jonathan D. and Mark C. Lewis Foundation and The Sacha Fund.

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