Meet the alumni of awakening seed school
Age: 22 | Location: Phoenix, AZ
I went to Arizona School for the Arts for high school, playing cello and piano, but switched my senior year to New School for the Arts and Academics for a more visual arts-centered approach and graduated from there in 2012. I attend Johnston College in Redlands, California, and completed my degree, which is a fusion between the arts/writing, and environmental studies/geography in May 2016. When in Redlands, I traveled to Los Angeles quite often and did some modeling, and am interested in getting into acting. Beginning in September 2014, I lived in London for study abroad at the University of College London, studying geography and enjoying the city with my boyfriend. I have been working on completing my 200-hr yoga teacher training to become a yoga teacher and am very passionate about the art and mindset of it, and all physical activities. In the summer of 2014 I went backpacking in the Alps and northern England with a school group, and before that in high school got up to a brown belt in Kung Fu. I am very passionate about the arts and sell my oil paintings at Art One Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have a small Etsy shop selling smaller things, and am interested in cultivating my passion for ceramics. From the Seed grew my love for gardening, and when I cannot grow my own plants around me, I like to take walks in gardens and parks. The Seed influenced my love of the environment, as it reflects in my studies. I hope to somehow tie together science and art into something that can help the world. Living in a large city, such as London, opened my eyes to the world that the Seed first gave me in a way that is unique. Without the Seed, as some fellow Seedling friends of mine have said, “I would be a completely different person.” The Seed has made me who I am today, and although nothing’s perfect, I am grateful for that.
Age: 33 | Location: Brooklyn, NY
I left Awakening Seed after 1st grade and transitioned to public school. I give Awakening Seed and my family all the credit for my survival (perhaps too dramatic a word) through public school. Awakening Seed provided a very safe and loving space for me as a non-binary/gender queer child, a “tomboy” as we said in the 80s and 90s. Public school was not as understanding of my difference, but starting out at Awakening Seed helped me realize my difference wasn’t the problem and I went though school confidently, even becoming the elected class president of my junior high. My family moved to the suburbs of Chicago when I was 14 and I attended New Trier High School. New Trier and the surrounding community was a bit of a culture shock for me socially and politically; however, I really loved the music department in the school and fully immersed myself in the audio/visual side of things. I went to undergrad for cinema production spending one year in Canada at the University of British Columbia and then moving to San Francisco State University. I stayed in San Francisco for 6 years and then moved to New York to attend Bard College’s MFA program at The International Center of Photography. I now work as a freelance video professional in a wide array of capacities in order to support my own artistic practice. Last summer I was in residence at the Camera Club of New York, aka “Baxter Street,” with the residency culminating in a solo show in the spring of 2016. People matter to me and they make me happy. As a child and now adult who deals with the social and political reality of being different, I find it important to recognize every person’s difference and both the struggle and joy that difference can bring to their life. I am happiest when I am creating and working both by myself or with friends and lovers. I prioritize pleasure and love to be indulgent with food, the sun, the ocean, mountains, deserts, anything that gives me joy. I feel Awakening Seed’s influence to this day. The Seed taught me to embrace and love difference and the school’s non-hierarchical approach to learning helped me understand at a very young age that there are so many different ways to learn, work, play and live.
Age: 29 | San Francisco, CA
I attended the Awakening Seed from (I think) 1991-1993. I work for Industrial Light and Magic, the visual effects studio under Lucasfilm. After leaving the Awakening Seed, I finished elementary and middle school in the Madison School District and went to high school at North High. In 2004, I left the desert for the Bay Area and attended college at UC Berkeley. I finished my degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 2008. In the process I developed a passion for computer graphics and visual effects, which lead me to my current job at ILM, where I’ve been for 4 1/2 years. The Seed taught me early on how important it is to be curious and hungry for knowledge. I discovered a love for learning there that has stuck with me to this day. I try to set aside time in my life to pursue new skills on a regular basis. I think my love for reading and writing began at the Seed, too. While I don’t write as much as I’d like to anymore, I still read as often as I can. All in all, my time at the Seed gave me a fantastic foundation for the rest of my education and my life.
Age: 28 | Oakland, CA
After leaving the Seed I went to school in the Tempe Elementary District and attended McClintock High School (Payne Academy). After high school I went to the University of San Diego and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2009. I am currently a special assistant to the head coach and manager of advance scouting for the Golden State Warriors, 2015 NBA champions. Being around people working toward and being a part of something greater than themselves matters and brings happiness to me, along with traveling and gathering. The Seed has a tremendous influence on their students’ ability to interact with, care for, and treat others as equals. It generates a curiosity in learning and about the world as a whole. They make their students feel valuable and capable of anything their minds can dream of. These things molded who I am and my approach to the world today.