High School job shadow

Last Friday, Opus Design had a special visitor. Eliany, a student from Madison Park High School in Roxbury, came to do a job shadow because she is interested in graphic design. She said that several other students were assigned to Boston area advertising and design firms. She was shy but she looked me in the eye and shook my hand. She said she was learning Photoshop and Illustrator, so I grabbed a logo project and opened an AI file for her to see. I showed her the organized and logical approach we take to adding color to a logo. I showed her Pantone books and how the same ink can look like a different color from coated to uncoated paper. I know these are details that are probably not taught in the classroom. In fact, compared to the next thing she told me, they are almost unimportant.

“My teacher says that if you want to be a good designer that you have to know how to write.”

I wanted to jump up and down with happiness. Instead, I told her that her teacher was absolutely right and obviously, very knowledgeable. The next thing I showed Eliany was a blurb I was writing to present a recent project for a design competition. She said “I wish I could write like that.”  This girl made me feel very proud and happy to help her. I assured her that she was on her way – just by acknowledging the importance of effective communication.

Eliany moved to Boston from Cuba 2 years ago only speaking Spanish. She’s already achieved so much by learning English, getting involved in the community, and seeing her potential as a graphic designer. She is a bright young woman and I look forward to her next visit when we’ll take a look at some of her design work. Maybe I’ll ask her to write something as well?

*** In January, Mayor Menino announced plans for transforming Madison Park into an “innovation school” by overhauling the curriculum and partnering with business and industry.