Teen Intern Spotlight: Christiann Cannon: "My Teen-Tern With Big Class"

Christiann was part of our Spring 2017 Teen Intern cohort. We asked her to describe the life of a Teen Intern at Big Class, and here's what she told us:

When I first joined Big Class, two years, I didn’t expect to gain an internship from it. Just like the other teens, I thought Big Class was just a way to write poetry and get it read by other poets. It turned out Big Class was way more versatile than just doing poetry. They offered a wide range of activities such as photography, poetry, videography, publishing and any genre of writing. Of course I was interested in the poetry and writing aspects of Big Class. Along the way of me showing interest in the program Doug, my leader, offered the other teens and I an internship. I was ecstatic and I wrote my letter of intent and sent in my resume. Next thing I knew I was a Big Class Teen Intern.

My first day as an intern after I signed the agreement papers, and jumped right into the flow of things. My favorite thing I’ve done so far is start the process of making one of Big Class’s books called The Big Classical. I’ve always had this idea to make a book or be featured in a book and Big Class has brought me that opportunity. Doug gave me and the other interns full responsibility and say so over this book. We came up with the theme “Hope in the Dark.” The reason for that was because the election was going on at the time and because New Orleans is a hard city to live in. This book is supposed to give young people a voice, especially black boys and girls. Touching people of my generation is all I ever strive for in my work and projects. The Big Classical is making that possible.

Besides Big Class bringing me editorial opportunities, they have created a free safe learning haven for young writers such as myself. Writing and publishing has always been my passion. Big Class has brought that passion out of me. They’ve let me create a book, go to literary festivals, and create workshops. Big Class is a great program that was brought to my attention and I wish every teen knew of this program. Writing, reading, and freedom of expression through words is what Big Class is and has taught me. As a young adult I have learned to mourn, cry, be happy, be heartbroken, be political, and be angry all through my writing. My involvement and stay at Big Class is meaningful and I hope to accomplish more along the way.