Hi, I'm a 14 yr-old female, rising Sophomore, and from a low-income family. I'm interested in majoring in illustration/drawing, architecture, or art (general) but I am struggling to find opportunities to boost my extracurriculars. I live in NYC and I was looking at Pratt's pre-college program for next summer (because I did SYEP this summer) but I don't think I would realistically be able to afford it (~$4,000). If I could, Pratt would be my top choice for a summer program because I'm also interested in applying there for college. Looking at other art programs is also making me worried because, at the moment, I only have a few extracurriculars planned for the upcoming school year (cross country, joining the national art honor society & the national honor society, key club, some art competitions). My school offers a lot of clubs and other stuff, but I'm not sure what is the best investment of my time. Any and all suggestions/advice would be helpful! :)
Do not feel discouraged to apply to the Pratt program! They have scholarships (merit, need-based, and Black/Latinx alumni). Apply and use these opportunities to your advantage! As a low-income student who is constantly looking for ECs, I completely understand what it's like to be in your shoes. It can feel just downright intimidating but having a program offer scholarships is a glimmer of hope that you should cling onto. If you need help applying for that scholarship, especially if need-based (documents can get confusing and scary lol) then just ask your guidance counselor or guardian for help! Here are the scholarships listed for the program: https://www.pratt.edu/continuing-and-professional-studies/precollege/faq/
I would suggest applying to national/international competitions! There are sooooo many contests out there waiting for submissions from all around the world waiting for contestants like you! Give them a try, and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Here are some from collegevine: blog.collegevine.com/prestigious-visual-arts-competitions-for-high-school-students/
I would say, if there isn't an art club at school. . .start one! Do competitions with members, online freelancing together, and workshops for anyone new who wants to learn. If that feels intimidating for your sophomore year (totally understandable) then showcase your art and really stay committed to that independently. You can do paid workshops, speed art videos online (tutorials online too), do your own freelancing on your own time while also gaining clients. These are still all super impressive things to have on your application.
Good luck on your artist journey!
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