Meet Amanda Selsky, an Everyday Arts for Special Education Intern

Hi, my name is Amanda Selsky. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but when I was young my family moved to rural Maryland. I have two sisters and will be a second year at the University of Virginia this fall. While I am currently undecided major wise, I have always had a passion for the humanities, especially history and art. I am involved in the docent program at the Fralin Museum and really enjoy volunteering in mentoring and tutoring settings with younger students. I love traveling and hope to study abroad in the future.

What attracted you to EASE? Art is one of my favorite ways of expressing myself and I am always thankful for its positive impact on my own life, especially in school. I also really enjoy working with children, so I am a big advocate of art education. I was immediately attracted to EASE because of how it combined two of my interests in a meaningful and important way to further engage special needs students.

What have you been enjoying doing so far? Through all of our outreach, I have really enjoyed interacting with other people who also care about art in education. Whether through a phone call or an email, it is great to hear from people who have dedicated their work to student achievement. Being in the office is always exciting because of all of the different projects going on and I love the constant energy.

What is your most memorable experience so far? My most memorable experience so far was the day I went with Lauren to see the filming of an EASE classroom in Brooklyn. Up to that point I was only familiar with the curriculum and work in the office had mainly focused on outreach for the EASE Summer Institutes. It was incredible to watch an actual EASE activity take place within the classroom. I was able to experience first hand how the arts based curriculum benefitted these students. Not only was the teacher engaging and caring, but his students were excited and focused throughout the activity. While I was aware of the impact of EASE prior to this filming, I really understood the purpose of this program after seeing it implemented in a classroom.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing or learning here at UAP with EASE? This summer at UAP with EASE, I hope to learn about all of the behind the scenes work that goes on in a non-profit. Because I am unsure about what I want to study in school, EASE is giving me a better idea of what path I would like to pursue in the future. I am hopeful for a successful summer institute and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out!