MOCA helps youth prepare for the future

caines | 8/23/2012, 5:30 a.m.

The Museum of Contemporary Art [MOCA] has completed another promising summer internship program that is aimed at exposing high school and college students to the world of museum operations. And while the internship is unpaid, the experience alone has proven to yield a host of benefits. There is even a possibility these students can be hired, which is what we did with a couple of our other interns who worked with MOCA last summer, said Lisa Fernandez, education administrator for MOCA. We hired them for this year. The internship experience allows students to determine if the museum profession is for them. After being around the curator, it all makes me feel like this is something I want to do, Sarah Noel, 17, said. Noel, who is going into her senior year, said that she agreed to the MOCA internship because it aligned with her intended major for college. She says she intends on majoring in international relations with a concentration in anthropology. The program maintained a formal schedule and hosted a number of guest speakers. My favorite guest speaker was Judge Prescott, Alexis Prisca, 16, said. He talked about the importance of one small decision and how it can change everything. In the program, the students were required to come out of their shells and go out into the community to inform local residents about the free opportunities the museum offers. I was pretty scared at first, Noel said. The hardest part was going up to people that didnt want to hear you. But eventually I got comfortable with it. Both students earned a total of 200 hours for their internship. While one student from the program walked away certain about her dream profession, another became certain about her outlook on internships. This experience makes me want to do more internships because they help you figure out what you want to do with your life, Prisca said. The museum offers a year-long career training program that introduces high school and college students to various jobs in the creative industry. At the conclusion of the internship all interns are expected to complete a final project called Model MOCA, where interns produce an art exhibition which includes developing a theme and budget, marketing plan, creating events and programming around the exhibit. By Julia Samuelsjsamuels@miamitimesonline.com