This spring, POV had the privilege of partnering with two youth education organizations to provide internship opportunities to New York City students. The Center for Arts Education is a not-for-profit organization that works to provide public school students in New York City with art education opportunities. Sadie Nash Leadership Project works to support the cultivation of leadership and activism in young women. We’re excited to share reflections from two high school interns, Jakob Janz and Dominique Dorvil, on their time working with us at POV.
Jakob Janz is a Community Engagement and Education intern from the Center for Arts Education, who plans to major in either photography or filmmaking. You can check out a sample of Jakob’s filmmaking work here, or view his Flickr for his photography portfolio.
I found out about and began working at PBS’ POV through The Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program. The Career Development Program makes sure that students of all ages get quality education in the arts, and gives students who are a part of the program internships in art-related organizations. I was told about CAE (Center for Arts Education) through my two art teachers, and they both suggested that I apply for it. I had to create a résumé and a sampling of artworks for the first and second round interviews, both of which were successful. Upon getting accepted into the CDP (Career Development Program), I became a part of their ‘Boot Camp’ sessions, which are basically classes in which we learn about how to be an exemplary intern at the worksites we are assigned to be interviewed at.
After our Boot Camp, we started the process of preparing ourselves for our worksite interviews. This included mock interviewing, reviewing résumés and cover letters, and overall a lot of mental preparation, as this was a first experience for a lot of people in the CDP — myself included. The actual worksite interviews were very nerve-wracking for me, as I ran into a few amatuer-ish problems — either I couldn’t find the location of the worksite, or I had forgotten to print out my updated résumé, or I just didn’t come across as a good speaker. However, after my first interview (I had 3 scheduled for different worksites), things went pretty smoothly. Without being biased, I can safely say that my interview at POV was the most comfortable. Aubrey made the situation very relaxed and broke my awkwardness very quickly, and the overall flow of the interview was pleasant.
Out of my three interviews, I was accepted to POV, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I would be interning at a worksite that directly relates to the major that I want to do — film — and it felt like an absolute dream to me. Aubrey and her wonderful colleague Alice, the coordinator of the department, showed me the ropes and made me feel accustomed to interning here. I worked on outreach and community engagement on POV‘s Season 29 films, and it’s an absolute blast to be a part of something that’s as big as this year’s season. Merely exploring the movies POV airs on PBS were a joy, as they are all so informative, entertaining, and inspiring. Along the way, I learned countless skills and abilities that can help me in jobs later in life, and because of this experience I feel readier than ever to tackle on whatever life throws at me. My experience at POV and in the CDP has really impacted my previous perception of the art industry, and I am so grateful to be a part of this program.
Prior to my interest in the art industry and it as a whole, my conception of art was very linear, for an exceptionally long time — only a few years ago did I realize that it was more of a standard than a privilege. It was around my sophomore year — when I really started to delve into my artistic potential in filmmaking — that I realized art is much more than just some extracurricular activity. Coming from a family of artists, it surprises me that I didn’t realize this earlier. However, I am so happy that I came to this conclusion at all. Art has literally transformed my life, in every single aspect. My previous conception of art was broken, which would lead to my linear conception of life to break — it has made me more open-minded, my thought process positively intangible, my appreciation for everything and everyone unquantifiable. Even though I am only 17 years old, and I still have so much more to learn and experience, I do know one thing is certain — art is here to stay, and will continue to be the forefront of social innovation and change, no matter the medium. Everyone and everything is art, and there is no denying that.
Filmmaking and photography are the media in which I stuck with out of all the other ones I delved into, and feel like I can express what I want without being held back by crippling self-criticism and doubt. I tried music production, graphic design, illustration — for some odd reason, whether the criticism was constructive or rude, I took it to heart and was very critical to myself, which would harm my artistic process in general. Film and photography were the only media that I truly felt comfortable doing. In this, I was able to create what I wanted, without feeling brought down by that one person who dislikes my work, which is always granted. I’m not fond of creating something I don’t enjoy if I have the option. From experience, it’s an absolute letdown to release something you don’t like, see that someone else doesn’t like it either, and go “Yep, you’re right”. I try my best to be selfless and selfish at the same time with my artwork. You create what you want and get skilled at it, and the people that like your work will follow. As long as you make what you like, you will be happy — for art and life in general, always put your happiness first before anyone else’s. Realizing this has been a tremendous life lesson, and without filmmaking/photography helping me come to this realization, I would be a lot different as a person today.
I am unfathomably grateful for my experience working at POV, and for getting accepted into the Career Development Program from the Center for Arts Education. I will never forget my time with both organizations, and will forever hold a place in my heart.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Dominique Dorvil was a Community Engagement and Education intern from the Sadie Nash this spring.
I was introduced to POV through Sadie Nash through their Community Action Placement (CAP). This program provides internship opportunities in programs that are apart of the fight for social justice. When I was first accepted to intern at POV, I questioned my capabilities because film was not the direction I was planning on to going in. Before I interned at POV, I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology. The day of my first meeting I was nervous meeting Aubrey and scared that I was going to have to talk to people. But being there, I felt welcome and my nerves were calmed down a little bit.
In the midst of my days at POV, I was watched two movies with my mother at home called The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete and Antwone Fisher (which is my favorite movie). I was more engrossed in both movies than I usually am. I was intrigued with how the directors and editors could grab the audience with a movie that contains harsh political, social and historical realities and make it not depressing or uninteresting. I pin this on my experience with POV. At POV I’ve been accustomed to watching films that had meaning and contained strong political and social influence. This was the beginning of my change.
The first projects that I worked on at POV were two films called American Promise and All the Difference. These films were the most appropriate for me because they focused on education and college and due to me being a junior in high school, college is constantly on my mind. During my own college research, I’d find myself getting bored with most majors colleges provided. I never thought Film and Media Studies or Digital Media Studies were going to be my potential majors.
Other things POV introduced me to is the lessons each documentary watched provides. For example, one film, Iris, taught me that being pretty doesn’t matter because it’s something that goes away and when it leaves what does one have left? Do they have anything else to offer besides beauty? This is great listen for all people in my generation because we are growing up in the age of Social Media where a lot of people may feel insecure because of the successful people on social media just because of their looks.
Leaving POV, I am not nervous about what is to come next. I am confident in my future career in media and the entertainment industry. I am also not nervous because I have gained much needed computer skills, a new passion for issues I didn’t know were issues and lessons for me to carry with me throughout the rest of high school, college life and career.