As the students return for another year at Grier, we have been learning about their summer experiences. Junior Elan T. had an exciting summer attending a two week summer seminar series at the Savannah College of Art and Design and volunteering as a horse lead at a therapeutic riding center.
Elan was drawn to Grier in part because of Grier’s robust art and riding programs. During her sophomore year, Elan studied watercolor, drawing, photography, and pottery along with recreational riding. Pursuing her interests during the summer was a natural choice for Elan.
The Savannah College of Art and Design awarded Elan an Achievement Scholarship based on her submitted work and teacher recommendations that allowed her to attend a two week seminar series. During the two weeks, Elan studied a variety of subjects including three animation-based classes and game design. She found stop-motion animation, a technique used in the recent movie Kubo and the Two Strings, one of the biggest challenges, as it required intense patience and long hours to create an animation that was only a few seconds long. The process of repositioning the wire-frame clay figures was painstaking and frustrating, but Elan developed a technique that led to a successful end result for which she was proud. In her game design class, Elan replicated a real life object as a 3D object in a virtual world. Her choice of object, an old-school Polaroid camera, proved to be a challenge, but with the guidance of her teacher, Elan was able to see her object fully rendered in beautiful detail.
While at home, Elan participated in multiple charity events and volunteered as a horse leader for Great and Small riding therapy program in Maryland. Most of the participants in the program were children with developmental disabilities and Autism, but she also assisted adults with a variety of disabilities. The intense heat of the summer made this job physically demanding and the horses uncooperative, but Elan found inspiration in the clients who included a wheelchair-bound young man who was a Paralympics medalist in swimming with a contagiously positive attitude and desire to add horseback riding to his list of accomplishments.
Back at Grier, Elan will continue riding for recreation, focusing on schoolwork which includes AP Art Portfolio and AP Art History, and likely participating in the many community service events offered through Grier Giving Back. Grier is fortunate to have Elan and so many other talented and generous young women in our student body this year.