Community service and performing arts interests combine in internship experience

Teresa Ascencio '23

Teresa Ascencio ’23, a communication studies and theatre and dance major at The College of Wooster, found a way to connect her passions of non-profit community service work with the performing and fine arts through her APEX Fellowship. As a mural artist apprentice at Jubilee Arts, a non-profit youth organization in Baltimore, Ascencio hosted a variety of online arts classes and conducted outreach in the community. She became aware of the internship after taking social justice and activism classes at Wooster. “I was eligible for this internship because of the Shepherd Higher Consortium on Poverty, a larger organization that matches students to agencies whose missions are to alleviate poverty and uplift marginalized communities,” Ascencio said.

“My summer fellowship has affirmed that I can in fact put two of my favorite things together to create my own future and implement change.”

—Teresa Ascencio ’23 

What interested you most about the work you did during your internship?

“The most interesting thing was hosting the Jubilee Arts classes—they were so much fun! We had a variety of courses, from hip-hop dance to adult clay, and it was so exciting to see the participants engage in different forms of artwork and expression. During a typical workday, I hosted two classes. When I am not hosting classes, I made outreach calls to participants and created newsletter campaigns that are sent out to the entire Jubilee community.”

How did your fellowship mentor help you succeed in the position?

“My mentor tailored my internship experience to what I wanted to get out of it. For instance, when I told her I wanted to learn more about how to create and manage a budget so that I could improve my skills as the treasurer for Latinas Unidas on campus, my supervisor spent an hour talking me through different kinds of budgets and grant proposals.”

What are some skills you learned that you see yourself carrying forward in your career?

“My outreach and communication skills increased tremendously, as I was in constant communication with my supervisors, participants at the organization, and instructors of the classes. Additionally, I learned how to create different forms of outreach, such as newsletter campaigns. I also learned more about the day-to-day and inner workings of a non-profit organization, specifically one that is tailored to empowering youth through the arts. I will carry all these skills into my future career, which will be one that is very similar to the work I did at Jubilee Arts.”

How did the internship help you see what is next for you?

“This internship made me realize how much I want to do this kind of work in my future career. That is, combining non-profit and community service work with the performing and fine arts. I am passionate about both fields, and my summer fellowship affirmed that I can in fact put two of my favorite things together to create my own future and implement change.”

Posted in Experiential Learning on August 12, 2021.

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Scholarship and artistry in theatre and dance for those who are passionate about performance in all its forms.

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