Aug 17th, 2015

Meet Mayor’s Youth Academy Intern Mia Washington

Mayor’s Youth Academy Intern Mia Washington

Mayor’s Youth Academy Intern Mia Washington

Mia Washington is the Children’s Garden Mayor’s Youth Academy intern for the summer of 2015. She assists with daily operations, horticulture and helps support our various educational programs. Mia has participated in the Mayor’s Youth Academy for many years and we are thankful she shared her finishing year with us. Take it away Mia...

My name is Mia Washington I am a student at Old Dominion University perusing a degree in elementary education. I am interning at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens through a program called the Mayor’s Youth Academy that provides opportunities for Richmond’s youth.  The Mayor’s Youth Academy places Richmond youth in various eclectic jobs around our city. Considering I am an elementary education major, being at Lewis Ginter’s Children’s Garden is perfect exposure for my career choice and also suffices the mission of the Mayor’s Youth Academy tries to achieve.

So far I have gotten a chance to work with the Garden’s Green Adventure Summer Camp, and with day cares, and schools that come here for educational field trips. During the camps, I’ve worked alongside Children’s Garden Educator Mitra Bryant who is a fantastic instructor. After just being here a few weeks, I’ve gained a lot of skills from her that I’ll be able to pull from for when I do become a teacher. While with Mitra I have been working with 4- and 5-year-olds, which I enjoy. Early Childhood Program Developer Kristin Thoroman and Children’s Garden Program Developer Kristi Orcutt have been awesome people to work with when it came to prepping work for camps. The different creative things that they both come up with are incredible and I’m delighted to be able to learn and actually create what they show me.

I’ve been able to help run our Garden Art on Monday afternoons from 2 – 3 p.m. There I help set up the mobile art studio and supplies and encourage the children to participate. We give them fun project to work on. One week it was a  a beautiful magnolia flower print to paint with water color. The kids typically don’t need much help. However, Kristin told me how I can help the kids by giving them tips about mixing colors or using a spray bottle filled with water to extract the watercolors. The staff I have worked with have really showed me the ropes and are amazing examples for me to follow.

So far I’ve learned a plethora of skills that will be useful when I become a teacher. I can’t wait to learn more.

Nicki Apostolow is the Youth Programs Developer at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden where she runs youth volunteer programs, including Service Learning, Summer Programs, Vocational Programs & Internships.

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