One Christmas, I received the gift of my (then) dreams: a see-through alarm clock! I was always curious about what made things work and how they were assembled — and this clock was a perfect work of art! With its different colored gears and hard exterior just begging to be cracked open, it was a matter of time before I did just that, much to the chagrin of my parents. Ultimately, it was a painting I did of a hot air balloon that motivated the breaking of the clock; I had decided that my canvas creation needed gears glued to it, otherwise how would it move?
Making things has always been a part of my life. From Popsicle jewelry boxes, studded with seashells gathered from the beach, to cross-stitching bibs for my friends’ newborn babies, I have always enjoyed creating with my hands. There were times in my educational journey where making was part of my curriculum, but as I drew closer to the end of middle and into high school, making opportunities were few and far between. Through high-school and college, I often referred to myself as a “visual learner” — someone who could absorb knowledge by seeing, hearing, and doing. Most times this wasn’t an option for me, and that’s when subjects such as math and science became unenjoyable, leaving me feeling discouraged and not able to absorb as much as I would have liked.
Education is a notable passion of mine. In my search for an AmeriCorps project that would fulfill my desire to support a learning environment, it was Lighthouse Community Charter School which gave me all I needed: STEM plus the Arts. I have been an admirer of charter schools since a brief stint at a school in San Diego, prior to serving my first AmeriCorps term in Lancaster, Ca. Learning of Lighthouse and their many programs indicative of the maker movement, I knew I had to be a part of the AmeriCorps team that supports such an amazing campus. Of course, over the past few months I’ve been introduced to the other wonderful subsites we partner with, and it’s reassuring to see the maker movement make its way around the country.