This summer, Shannon Savard ’15 is helping others participate in creative and artistic endeavors while interning at Arts in Reach (AIR), a camp designed to empower teenage girls through the arts. Established in 1997, Arts in Reach has a continuing mission of creating a community in which all women are respected, supported and enriched through their teenage years.
Savard is a mentor for 20 teenage girls. “My job is to come up with and run music and theatre-related activities that help fulfill the goals of the program. I am also implementing team-building activities and leading discussions that get the girls thinking about the issues we face every day and how we can deal with and resolve them.”
The camp utilizes the power of the arts to help girls tackle issues such as breaking down stereotypes and concepts of one-dimensional beauty.
“What interested me about the program was not only the fact that I would be working in a field that I’m so passionate about, but the purpose behind it,” says Savard. “The programs at Arts in Reach exemplify the power of the arts and the impact they can have on people. I also really liked that the program was focused on teenage girls. The teenage years are so critical and being involved in the arts helps, whether it’s learning to express yourself, connecting with other people, developing as a person, or just becoming a stronger woman.”
An English major with minors in theatre and arts in education, Savard is also enrolled in the teaching program. “The arts had a huge impact on my life, and I want to be able to share my passion with others,” she says. “I plan to remain in this field after I graduate. Even if it’s not my career, it’s a cause that I truly believe in and I want to be involved.”
The Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development helped her find this internship based on her interests.
“I had no idea that places like Arts in Reach existed before they helped me find it, and I’m glad they did!”
Savard is a member of the William Smith Soccer team, volunteers during Day of Service, and is a Reading Buddy at the Geneva Boys and Girls Club.