Technology classes, where you sink into a swiveling computer chair and work on an Excel spreadsheet, can be tedious and ho hum. Maria Servellon, East Boston resident, wanted to bring a creative flare to typical media courses, and so began the first digital photography class at Girls Inc., Lynn. Maria encourages middle school girls to become engaged in hands-on activities and consider careers in creative fields.
“I said, let’s make storytelling – visuals, sounds, and images– through PowerPoint,” says Maria Servellon, Lead Technology Instructor. “I see my girls benefitting from a more art-based technology program. It’s something that they are all really passionate about.”
Maria has been working as a media mentor in Boston Public Schools since she graduated from UMass Boston in 2012. As an Adobe Youth Voices Media Mentor, she works with students (kindergarten – high school) in urban schools, teaching them graphic design, videography, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Office.
“A lot of these skills that they’re receiving in school would be much more intensified if there was a more creative outlet,” Maria explains. “If the teachers pushed for an art initiative, I feel like the general apathy for school would definitely be different.”
She started the digital photography class after being awarded a grant to purchase Photoshop and a video editing program, which she uses to teach students about color theory and typography. Maria encourages her girls to find patterns and correlations in subject matter, and shows them work of local artists to explain media in the contemporary world.
When the girls take home a collage or t-shirt that they created, Maria sees them brighten. The girls will be displaying their photographs during their first exhibition on March 7 at 4 p.m., at Girls Inc., Lynn. The event will include an all-female photographer panel for the girls to become familiar with careers in the photography field.