Havanna Fisher, Youth Advocate

Havanna is a budding interdisciplinary artist from Harlem who works across the fields of design, performing arts and film. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design from Parsons and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in dance from Eugene Lang. She has a profound interest in using the skills and techniques that she has acquired to combine the arts with education to bring about political awareness and thus probable change within the American landscape of ideological identity. The basis for this deep enriched passion in community service stems from her experiences growing up in Harlem. Havanna is currently a 2016 Create Change Resident at The Laundromat Project on a project she created called Harlem Motion that aims to […]

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Summer Senior College Workshops

For a few weeks in August, the soon-to-be seniors came on campus to start working on their college applications. They spent hours each day researching colleges, learning about majors, and visioning about their futures for college and beyond. 

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Sophomore Workshops

We welcomed our fresh bunch of talented sophomores this Spring to The New School! For the past few weeks, the Scholars have in engaged in trips to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem. During afternoon workshops, they’ve mastered the use of Tumblr to start  documenting their work for the Spring term.  

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First Day of Spring Academy! Ice Breaker at Lunch!

On Saturday January 30th, Scholars, Mentors, and Youth Advocates gathered together for an Ice Breaker check-in where they stood in a circle and said one word that described how they were feeling. For the next ice break activity they split up into groups so that the mentors and scholars could get to know each other. Saturday, January 30th

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Ice Breaker, October 24

          On Saturday, Scholars, Mentors, and Youth Advocates gathered together for an Ice Breaker that was sort of a sequel to several Saturdays ago’s Cypher Sessions with Youth Advocate Ladin.  Youth Advocate Nick, started off with two games, Rock, Paper, Scissors and Truth or False.  The rest of the day the Scholars and Youth Advocates then split into their separate groups to discuss a new project for next week’s class!

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Portfolio Redefined 2015, October 10

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 the Parsons Scholars Senior group along with other New York City senior high school students attended Portfolio Redefined Workshop held by Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Parsons Scholars Program. Portfolio Redefined is a workshop for all aspiring students who are preparing an art and design portfolio for college admission. During the workshop all students got their portfolios reviewed by admissions counselors from different art colleges. The counselors provided them with feedback to make their portfolios stronger before they applied to the schools they wanted to attend. The students were also able to have their art pieces professionally photographed and put into a digital file for them to take with them. Portfolio Redefined workshops happen a […]

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Cypher Sessions, October 3

On Saturday, Scholars and Mentors gathered for a group exercise that used creative writing, group thinking and “hot fire emoji” lyrics for a socially aware rap cypher.  Youth Advocate, Ladin Awad, led the exercise explaining the history of cyphers and battle rapping with the theme of social awareness.  The Scholars along with the Mentors were split into groups to create “bars” that focused on problems and issues that they could relate too.  The groups then performed their written rhymes to the rest of the class, after discussed what they learned and how they felt their rhymes reflected the problems they have faced in their own lives.

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Mentor Orientation, September 26

  Our mentors, new first year students and more experienced alike gathered this past Saturday, September 26 for an afternoon to get energized for the upcoming fall Pre College Academy. The event was lead by Program Admin, Joelle with presentations from mentors Crystal, Naiky, and Elizabeth. The orientation reviewed critical mentor roles and responsibilities, tips on communication and working with faculty and scholars, and documenting the program. During a breakout session, mentors brainstormed potential programs and workshops for the fall.

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Now Recruiting: NYC Public School 10th Graders for Parsons Scholars Program

What is the Parsons Scholars Program?The Parsons Scholars Program is a multi-year scholarship program for New York City public school students interested in art and design study. Accepted students participate from 10th grade through 12th grade. Students have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of studio subjects to gain skills and knowledge that will help them gain admission and be successful in colleges of art and design. Students earn and college credits and a Pre-College certificate from Parsons upon successful completion of the Parsons Scholars Program. In addition to these classes, students participate in workshops and fieldtrips to gain exposure to art and design fields.  During the fall and spring semesters, programming is held on Saturdays from 9am- 5pm. […]

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NYCore Workshops: We Are the Experts of our Lives Creative Youth Activism

This past Saturday, the senior scholars as well as the advocates and one other mentor and I had the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops headed by NYCore (Collective of Radical Educators). The seniors chose the workshop that peeked their interests. I, along with many of our female seniors joined the Sadie Nash Leadership Project in their workshop: We Are the Experts of our Lives Creative Activism. The workshop started off with the “Nashers” giving us a presentation about who they are as a program. They are a leadership program for girls and they are based in both New Jersey and New York City. They teach girls the leadership skills they need to become activists and to attain […]

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Careers in the Arts Fair with the Joan Mitchell Foundation

  This past weekend, the Parsons Scholars Program, combined with the Joan Mitchell Foundation as The New School hosted the Careers in the Arts Fair. There were about 200 students in attendance visiting work-shops held by a variety of artists ranging from architects to apparel designers to aerosol artists. The event kicked off with the students attending a talk by Jeff Ng and Quilian Riano. They were able to hear about their careers and how they became successful. Jeff gave the students really important advice about how to pursue their dreams and how to be happy doing so. His talk about how he became a successful designer working on art for his apparel line and CD covers for famous rappers really inspired the students.  Afterwards, they were went off to their workshops. […]

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Sable Smith’s Digital Photography Class

My name is Alex Fields and I am a mentor for the Parsons Pre-College Program. As part of my job with the program, I am also a Teacher’s Assistant. I am currently an assistant for the photography class which is taught by professor and our program Youth Advocate, Sable Elyse Smith. We are working with middle school students grades 6-8. The class usually begins with the students uploading their homework to the drop- box so that the whole class can view their photos and we can have a critiquing session. Often, Sable introduces other photographers to the class and shows us their work. She then explains the lesson for the day and afterwords, we jump right into it. We often use […]

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Teach-In 2

This past Saturday, the scholars, along with our new sophomores took part in a series of workshops as part of our Teach-In. The Teach-In workshops included: Sex-E Collective Presents: Consent + Risk, a workshop that teaches youth safe sex and sexual consent, pregnancy and STD prevention. I’m Right Here, Tho! which is a workshop that deals with being the only minority in class and self advocacy. Justice is What Love Looks like in Public: Hop Hop and Spoken word for Social Justice. A workshop that uses Hip Hop and poetry as a form of self-expression and communication to convey what justice means in society. Hoodies and Halos: Symbolizing Stereotypes & Popular Culture in Art. This workshop spoke about how art and media stereotype […]

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Senior capstone progress!

On the second class of our Seniors’ capstone project, the instructor Ben Rojas introduced the social justice subject the scholars will be tackling. The scholars were presented with images addressing  the Trayvon Martin case of 2012, and were asked to analyze them and come up with their own ideas. Paired up in groups and with limited time, the scholars created posters and drawings inspired by their personal views on the case. After their lunch break, the seniors were taken on a tour through the Arnold Forum library at our new University Center. Scholars got to explore the new facilities and were informed of the benefits provided to them. They later had one of our reference librarians thoroughly explain the process […]

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Sophomores’ first day!

The first week back in the spring semester as a mentor I was assigned to work with the sophomores, who are new to the Parsons Scholars Program. I was excited to work with fresh faces since my face was fresh to them as well. At this rate,  everybody can feel more comfortable around each other and be on the same page. We took a field trip as a whole group of 24 scholars to visit the Beautiful Americans show at Susan Inglett Gallery to meet with curator William Villalongo. When we first arrived at the gallery the curator immediately told the scholars to look around at the different work and when they were finished, to come back together as a […]

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College Workshop with the Juniors

On November 9th, Nadia led the junior scholars in a college research work-shop to start prepping them early on the college research process. The scholars were asked about how much they knew already about the different college-related terminology.  We had them place orange stickers next to different terms on a poster set to indicate the terms that they didn’t know. They placed a lot of stickers on posters but a later activity that we implemented proved that they knew more than they thought they knew. With National Portfolio day a week away, we spoke to them about bringing their work to the event. They were able to ask the mentors questions about how many pieces they needed to bring, what […]

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Info Session added!

Due to great student interest, we’ve added one last info session. Please attend to learn more about this opportunity for 10th graders! Friday, November 1, 5:00-6:30 p.m. 2 West 13th Street, between 5th/6th aves. Orientation Room– ground floor  

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NOW RECRUITING 10th GRADERS!

Calling all 10th graders who are interested in exploring art & design as college and career options! APPLICATION NOW AVAILABLE! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-SGnzLpevfmY6LavnIywy2CzvXHxyYTDO6x-D51sEmc/viewform   More info on eligibility and the application process can be found here: http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/design-scholarship/   We highly recommend that all applicants attend one info session. Application support will provided at all three Info Sessions: Thursday 10/24, 4-5:30 Friday, 10/25, 4:30-6 Monday 10/28, 4:30-6 *Locations & directions on flyer

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Parsons Scholars at Festival!

Join us Saturday, May 18th from 4pm-7pm for a stunning exhibition of art and design projects by the Parsons Scholars! The afternoon will begin with our  seniors presenting their learning portfolios, in which they’ll reflect on their lessons learned throughout the past 3 years.  Presentations will be followed by a catered reception in which we invite everyone to join us in viewing and celebrating the exhibition of the Scholars’ artwork. We look forward to seeing many familiar faces of alumni, family, friends, faculty, staff and Scholars!   Download the invitation here! Saturday, May 18th, 4-7pm 66 Fifth Ave 4-5:30 pm— Parsons Scholars Senior Presentations Kellen Auditorium 5:30-7:00 pm— Parsons Scholars Exhibitions + Reception Rooms N301 + N819

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Social Justice Expo!

For the 2nd year, the Parsons Scholars were represented by the seniors at the annual Social Justice Expo held at NYU, which is an exhibition social action projects created by NYC youth. Alan Xicohtencatl, Roxana Santana, Monica Cardona, Raquel Castillo and Mariah Watson did an excellent job explaining their collaboration with Sandy Storyline as well as the design + creation of graphics + videos: Alan: I loved the fact that a lot of young adults took a lot of pride in their project. I have never been in an expo before but I loved it. The last performance encouraged me to share my feelings,  not just by art but also by speaking my mind. Raquel:   Coming to the Social Justice […]

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Open Studio and Parsons Paris Scholarship Recipients

On April 27th, the scholars had their annual Open Studio event where they showcase their work from the semester for their family, friends and other scholars. The scholars and their guests were able to enjoy works from various classes such as 3D, Architecture, Digital Photography, Fashion, Painting and more . This event was especially exciting because it marked the end of the first year in the Parsons Scholars Program for our new sophomore scholars. Soon, our current seniors will be having their work showcased at the Parsons Festival in a few weeks before we wish them farewell as they graduate from the program.   Along with the excitement of seeing the work of our talented scholars, that afternoon, we learned […]

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The Sophomore Scholars Visit The New Museum

On April 20th, our sophomore scholars visited the New Museum to see their latest exhibit, “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” The exhibit showcases references to culturally significant events and aspects of the 1993. The space is comprised of installations that range from a myriad of issues that were dealt with at the time and are still being dealt with today including the AIDS epidemic, war in the Middle East, gun control and gay rights. It’s important that the scholars view socially significant work from artists that have come before them so that, as the next generation of artists, they can learn where artists of a past generation have come from.

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New Sophomore Orientation and Sheila Johnson Gallery Visit

On February 16th, we welcomed our new sophomores into the Parsons Scholars Program by giving them the run-down of the program through the Pre-College orientation. After class, we took the scholars on the first of many gallery visits to the Sheila Johnson Gallery in Chelsea, which always showcases a wide variety of work. At the gallery, the scholars got to enjoy the various instillation pieces while also getting to know each other more. This day would be their first official day of being scholars and the beginning of a ton of brand new experiences to come!

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The Scholars Visit Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder’s “Camera Obscura Installation”

On February 20th, the scholars went to Madison Square Park to visit artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder’s “Camera Obscura” Installation. The installation is large white cylindrical structure that sits inside of the park. The inside is dark and hollow and there is a small hole on the outside that when viewed from the inside, shows the projection of the outside world onto the walls. It was a very unique experience for the scholars and it displayed one of the mechanisms behind how cameras work in a very artistic way!

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Senior Scholars Go to Staten Island!

This Saturday, the Seniors, mentors Joelle and Richard, faculty Rachel, and MFA DT student volunteer Bridget traveled to Staten Island to conduct interviews for Sandy Storyline. We traveled around one area of Staten Island, near the beach where residents were hit quite hard by the storm. We visited various hubs that had been set up by volunteers, who had traveled from all over the Northeast to help out after the storm and had been there ever since. Scholars photographed, audio recorded, and sketched interviews with SI residents and volunteers. This work is not only to gather stories for Sandy Storyline, but also to prepare the Scholars for the design work they’ll be doing for the organization.

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Senior Project with Sandy Storyline

Each spring, the Parsons Scholars seniors participate in a collaborative semester-long course in which they gain hands-on art and design skills while applying their lessons to meaningful projects that create a positive community impact.  This year, they’re collaborating with Sandy Storyline, which is a participatory documentary about Hurricane Sandy and efforts to recover and rebuild. The seniors will conduct participatory research, do creative brainstorming around interactive exhibitions and develop important communication materials for the project. We’re lucky to have instructors Rachel Falcone (founder of Sandy Storyline) and Erin Zipper on board to lead them this important collaboration! For more information on Sandy Storyline, visit http://www.sandystoryline.com/.

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Welcome New Scholars and Happy First Day!

At the orientation for the new scholars, we welcomed them into the program with introductions of ourselves and the program and with a series of really fun icebreakers facilitated by our new Advocate, Peta. We got to know the new scholars through these icebreakers. We, the mentors, then broke into groups with the scholars and facilitated a group discussion about our interests and goals. We had a great time getting to know each other and some of the scholars even found out that they have a lot in common! We then played a game where the scholars had to remember everything that they told each other. They’ll be sure to remember these things in the future as they grow within […]

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Joelle Riffle, Program Administrator

  Joelle Riffle is a communication designer from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in communication design in 2013. Joelle has a range of professional and creative experiences, from her time as a graphic designer at the small branding and web studio to her current role as the program administrator at the Parsons Scholars Program. Her design practice and administrative work overlaps in the desire to work from a people-focused approach to collaborate and mobilize for positive change, particularly around underrepresented populations in creative fields. Find her design work online at joelleriffle.com  

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