During the month of October, Surge has turned to some of our “regulars,” teens who actively and regularly engage with one or more of our sites, for their marketing insight. There are a total of six Surge Youth Marketing Interns, and the following narrative is the first of six installments, to introduce everyone to the teens behind it all:
My name is Amin Ebady, I enjoy prop making, video editing and model design. I have had a long history with Surge and the Wexner Center for the Arts, my primary Surge site. The way I express myself best is with my extracurricular work and the connections made as a result of the great relationships I hold with those I work with. During my free time in the summer, I never had anything to do and was looking for work, even at a younger age. I found work in one of my best friends and employers, Jean Pitman, Youth and Community Programs Manager at Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts. I met Jean at a festival for my local community, Weinland Park. Jean introduced me to an idea she had to allow the residents to tell of the history and background of the community that I live in, it was called The Weinland Park Storybook Project, and I came to work for her that summer for the project. The work consisted of me and some other teens gathering stories from the residents of Weinland Park and drawing them in a graphic novel form. The project, after about a year, was a huge success, and me and my other coworkers received the Commissioner’s Award for the completion of the Weinland Park Storybook Project. This was the beginning of my extracurricular work, and the connections that Jean would provide me. During the following summer, Jean introduced me to a not-yet-public program for teens called Surge. The program was created to teach kids how to use and access newer technologies and programs that were both a good learning experience and opportunity for professional development. I was on the board of the program and was tasked with brainstorming ideas and different ways that teens could learn different technologies and tools to create and learn something. I, working in a teen focus group, helped come up with ideas and topics that would be useful for development of the Surge network. After the Surge was launched, I went to the various sites, such as WOSU’s Ross Media Lab and COSI’s Tech Studio (then Teen Tech Studio), to learn the different technologies and act as a Beta tester to the techniques that the mentors would use to teach others. I learned video editing and film making for a year at WOSU and explored 3-D modeling, design and 3-D printing at COSI’s Tech Studio. I have since served as a representative of Surge at Battelle events, and spread the word about what it has done for the community.