Enoch Parmar, a senior at Curtis High School in Staten Island, spent last summer as an intern in the Bloomberg Arts Internship (BAI) program at the acclaimed multidisciplinary HERE Arts Center (HERE). His coworkers treated him as an equal member of the team despite his being only 16: “I felt like I was a lot like them but younger. They took me in, and they took care of me,” he said.
For Enoch, working closely with his HERE coworkers gave him a glimpse into his future in the workforce, which helped reignite a sense of urgency for academic excellence: “I feel like I shouldn’t take this time [in school] for granted because I know I will be in their same shoes someday…whether I will be in the art field or not.” Fortunately, Enoch will have more time to learn and to grow in his internship under a BAI fall-winter program extension that will allow him to continue working at HERE Arts through May 2022.
A Whole World of Choices
As a Green Committee Intern at HERE, Enoch was responsible for ensuring that the company’s productions and practices were beneficial to the environment. For one of his tasks, he audited the company’s purchases to support the Committee in finding local community businesses that could cater to HERE’s needs and are part of the community where it operates. To do this, Enoch conducted research on sustainability, which not only taught him how to be more sustainable on a personal level, but also how sustainability could be a launching point into a career.
Working in an arts facility and conducting research on government policies that affect the environment led him to realize that career opportunities within the arts are more diverse than he thought. His BAI internship has led him to consider majoring in political science and possibly studying law in the future, knowing that he could incorporate the arts in his career wherever he goes.
From a Head Start to a Strong Finish
BAI interns begin workshopping their college essays through a program component that provides college preparedness training. Students develop and refine their college admissions essays with guidance from writing instructors at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Enoch had been contemplating his essay topic before the start of the BAI program. He decided to trust his intuition and pursue an idea he thought was unique: What riding in New York City’s MTA trains and buses has taught him about himself, and how this can help improve himself for college.
Having the chance to work on his essay for five weeks allowed Enoch to gain insights that strengthened a topic he was already enthusiastic about. His essay touched on the empathy he has gained seeing how different people live in New York and how commuting on public transportation provides an opportunity to view firsthand the makeup of multiple communities.
Observing students outside of the program struggling with their essays. Enoch recognizes how challenging writing an essay for college admissions can be. However, he’s confident about the work that he’s done on his own essay and credits the support he received from the instructors in the BAI program.
Self-Expression and Community Through Art
Enoch seems to love all the arts. He especially appreciates the way creating and performing music allow him to express his emotions through the way he is playing. He admires other art forms for the way they can enable you to show your true self or explore another part of yourself as actors do when they play a new character. “What I love most about art is the way it allows people an outlet to be themselves unapologetically,” he says.
As part of the arts engagement component of the internship, Enoch visited the Maya Lin: Ghost Forest exhibit at Madison Square Park with his BAI peers. After learning about Maya Lin and her art in the classroom, it was a highlight to see the artwork up close and have an opportunity to hear Madison Square Park Conservancy Deputy Director Brooke Kamin Rapaport discuss the exhibition.
Enoch was also grateful to spend time with the other interns. “I thought it was nice; it was a sense of normalcy,” he says, after having navigated the challenges of a summer 2021 internship, along with his fellow interns. We look forward to hearing about his progress at HERE during the next several months.
Bloomberg Arts Internship is sponsored by