Jasmine Barnes, completing her BDP in Media, Culture & Identities with a focus in Identities, Communities & Place, interned with the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement’s Alternative Breaks – Austin trip. As a Trip Leader, Jasmine developed curriculum on social justice as well as trained and led a group of students in exploring and documenting East Austin minority communities, highlighting their stories and experiences through short videos featuring interviews with community members.
How did you find your internship?
My freshman year, I was introduced to UT’s Alternative Breaks program. I went on the trip to New Orleans and the experience positively shaped the rest of my time at UT. This year, the program staff reached out to me about being a trip leader and the position and focus of the trip was perfect for my BDP.
Describe the work you did in your internship.
As an intern, I started planning a week-long Alternative Breaks spring break trip for students in Austin in the middle of last summer. I went to retreats and trainings with other trip leaders and student leaders from UT’s Longhorn Center for Community Engagement (LCCE). I collaborated with the other trip leader on my program to create curriculum and plan a schedule that would help underclassmen create videos that spotlighted to experiences of Austin natives.
What was the most rewarding aspect of your Connecting Experience?
There were many rewarding parts of my Connecting Experience. First, being able to create an entire curriculum and program from scratch that combines my love of social justice, media, storytelling and community was a dream. I also loved collaborating with my co-trip leader and gaining the advice and guidance of my faculty mentor and internship supervisor. Finally, experiencing the trip, trouble-shooting and learning from other students challenged and empowered me.
In what ways has this Connecting Experience shaped your plans for the future?
This Connecting Experience taught me so much about my strengths and weaknesses as well as my passions. I know moving forward that storytelling, social justice and collaboration will be crucial parts of my life and potentially my career.
Discuss the relationship you had with your faculty mentor and how they helped you during this Connecting Experience.
My faculty mentor, Andy Garrison, really opened my eyes to new ideas about video creation. His work with East Austin Stories provided fresh insight into the project we were trying to create with Alternative Breaks. My conversations with him proved to be some of the most important and influential of my undergraduate career.