Congrats to our October Volunteer of the Month, Saiya Miller! Read our interview with Saiya:
What first brought you to Big Class?
I walked into the Big Class space on St. Claude by chance when I was stopping by to see an art show upstairs. I ended up spending more time downstairs reading student writing than upstairs at the show. I felt so inspired by the books and the intention behind them, and I knew then and there that I wanted to be involved!
What keeps you coming back?
Each Big Class project that I have participated in has been so special in its own way. The students I meet are such a good reminder to keep creating art and producing writing, no matter what else is going on in your brain or in your life. The way they write about things is so fresh! They are geniuses
What are some skills you have that help you out at Big Class?
I like to write and draw and make and books, so that helps! Being an open and excitable person has been useful at Big Class too. I like to juggle a lot of projects and attempt to do it all, even if it makes me crazy.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced at Big Class?
Mostly, I just wish I had more time and energy to help out with more projects. I definitely need to challenge myself to limit the projects I want to work on. Sometimes I am spread as thin as a pancake and I don't want to become a crepe!
What are some great projects you’ve helped with? Tell us the story behind them if you can.
My favorite Big Class project that I worked on was Lo Inolvidable, a collection of comics made by a class at Grace King High School. The class was made up entirely of English Language Learners (ELL). They each wrote a comic about a time in their lives that they felt heroic. Many wrote about their experience coming to the United States, and challenges they faced once they arrived here. The book is bilingual and each student worked so hard on both their writing and the drawings that would accompany the stories.
What are you up to when you’re not volunteering with us?
I work for the New Orleans Public Library, organize a summer program called Girls Rock New Orleans, play bass in two bands, draw and write, sail and canoe, hang out with dogs and go camping!!!