CONNECTS Fellow: Amber Padilla

“I’m just really glad that the program exists. I did have a TA position at the college, but this feels much more engaging. I feel important. And being able to see what is around the community outside of CCA is really important.”

– Amber Padilla, CCA CONNECTS Fellow

Fellowship Description

Amber Padilla joined the Youth Arts Program at Kala Arts Institute in the Spring semester and received a crash course in teaching art to elementary school students. Kala Arts Institute provides arts instruction to local schools through a school visit program. Amber was teamed up with Yael Levy, an alumnus of the Connects program, to teach 45 minute arts workshops at Berkeley Arts Magnet School in up to 5 classes a day. Through one-on-one mentorship and support from the Director of Education, Jamila Dunn, Amber was able to bring her training from the MFA Comics program to design curriculum and grow as a teacher.

Amber reflected on getting to teach her artistic practice:

“I had always wanted to teach and that was one of the reasons I had wanted to get a master’s degree. I wanted to both make more illustration and comics, and also teach. So it’s been really great that the teaching I have been doing is completely related to what I’ve been studying.”

CONNECTS Qualities

This Connects Fellowship is an example of:
  • Value of mentorship
  • Connecting larger Bay Area community
  • Community impact on student learning
  • CCA student as role model

Amber describes the benefit CCA students brought to the classroom:

“We’re making sure that we’re giving the students information that they won’t get from their teachers. Having them experience material that they may not experience otherwise. Making opportunities to give them a broader artistic experience.”