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Leadership

An Internship for Art Lovers

I was always very interested in the arts, so when I received an email from national Kappa Delta about an internship opportunity through the Kappa Delta Foundation it immediately caught my eye. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was looking for KD collegians to intern for the summer for their Art and Leadership Program for Girls. The museum educates attendees on the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe, a Kappa Delta alumna, while the Art and Leadership program provides up to 100 at-risk adolescent girls with a support system that utilizes art, builds confidence and develops leaders.

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The museum was looking for someone to lead lessons in art, leadership and poetry and facilitate discussions of gender issues and goal-setting. It couldn’t have been more fitting for me! I remember sending out requests for letters of recommendation right away and completing the application process with painstaking detail and revision. When I was notified I had been chosen as an intern, I cried with joy and excitement. I had been talking about moving to Santa Fe and working for the museum for months and now it was becoming a reality.

I have been at the museum for seven weeks now, and it’s the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. Leading the girls can be the best and hardest part of my day. More often than not, the girls are excited and eager to learn and try hard to participate in the activities. Occasionally, we encounter behavioral situations like cliques, shyness, or outspoken girls monopolizing activities, which can be challenging.  I have gained valuable mentoring skills, confidence in teaching art, and a deeper respect and understanding for the challenges others face every day.

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One unique aspect of this internship is working with the other interns to tailor activities to the interests of the girls. This requires day-to-day planning, troubleshooting and learning as you go.  The hard work pays off as we see the girls grow in their self-confidence, critical thinking abilities and leadership skills.

I am fortunate to have fellow interns and colleagues I admire, communicate well with and respect. We work as a team to provide the best, personalized instruction possible. Having such positive, hardworking colleagues has made a world of difference for my experience and the experience of the girls in the program.

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At the conclusion of my internship, I will search for additional career opportunities in artistic education. After experiencing Santa Fe’s vast art culture, I have a good understanding of jobs available in art and what it’s like to be a part of a strong artistic community.

I encourage you to apply for this internship if you have a deep-rooted passion for art and an interest in working with kids. In the application, speak from the heart about your willingness to invest in the program and the girls participating in it. You will be investing in yourself, and learning as much from the girls as they will learn from you.

Kassandra Mestemaker
Sigma Kappa-Ohio State

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