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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
avatar for Shay  Lahon

Shay Lahon

Biology Major
Youth FX Behind the Scenes: The True, Hidden Powers Behind Minority/Low-Income Film Producers
Over the summer, I interned at a non-profit organization called Youth FX, a hands-on program, based in Albany, New York, that empowers youth (ages 10-24) through the education of digital filmmaking (as well as various, other media productions). Youth FX, historically, strives to liberate underprivileged, minority groups by teaching them the creative abilities and technological skills needed to support productions. Evidently, individuals arising from low-income, disadvantaged families are already underrepresented enough in society, especially in both media platforms and media/film study spectrums. Youth FX is simply a program that provides advantage to disadvantaged youth by, early on, exposing them to a plethora of technologies/opportunities. These technologies/opportunities include (but are not limited to) learning about: directing, creative directing, assisting, music production, wardrobe and make-up management, and more. My presentation specifically will talk more about my experience interning as an Art Designer (Creative Director) over the summer with Youth FX. My personal journey will be utilized into digging deeper about what exactly underrepresentation of aspiring, low-income media producers looks like, and the kind of power and confidence programs like ‘Youth FX’ help give to underprivileged individuals, like myself.