When I applied to the Project: Identity Photography program at Bethel Woods as a freshman in high school, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know, this class would change my life forever.
Not only did I learn the basics of photography, I found an outlet to express myself, and a connection to the world of artistic expression that I wanted to share with others. I loved it - every second of it! Photography quickly became my passion, a part of me, and the skills and knowledge I obtained I will carry with me and use forever. After my PI Photography experience, I became a Teaching Artist intern for Bethel Woods' Saturdays at the Woods program, working with children ages 0-13.
It was incredible. I thought if I could help one child through a tough time, that would be enough. But having the opportunity to help maybe thirty children is indescribable. This is what inspired me to continue my journey and participate in the Bethel Woods professional development program to become a Teaching Artist. Teaching is never something I had considered. In fact, it was near the bottom of my list of potential career choices. Now, along with photography, it's something that I plan to do forever.
I owe this discovery to Bethel Woods' fantastic programming and the opportunities it presents for young people to explore their passions and find their voice. My voice inspires me to teach and encourage personal expression in everyone I come in contact with, and is one way I plan to contribute positively to the world around me.