Sandra Holland: Creating Community Beyond Classroom Walls
Sandra Holland has been an educator with the San Jose Unified School District for 12 years, the past four of which she has been using Adobe Youth Voices curriculum in her classroom. Now an AYV Lead Educator, Sandra is passionate about providing the opportunities to her students that they might not otherwise have.
“We feel fortunate to have Adobe mentors come in to our classroom to offer technical expertise on media projects,” says Sandra. “This extra technical support and mentoring is not usually available at the high school level. This support has expanded the boundaries of what our youth can accomplish.” Sandra says that her students are now participating in film festivals and local arts exhibitions, and gaining personal & professional skills while having fun.
For Sandra, inspiring young people to create is a family tradition. “I come from a long line of working artists and educators,” says Sandra about her family, which includes painters, sculptors, commercial artists and art professors. “My family is my inspiration for a career in the arts, they have always encouraged me to follow my dream.”
Working with young creative minds is deeply fulfilling for Sandra, who says she is lucky to have such great students to work with. “I love seeing excitement in students when they come up with a great idea. I enjoy helping students to problem solve and communicate visually.”
Willow Glen High School, where Sandra teaches, has a student population that reflects the diverse community of San Jose. “Our population includes students from around the globe, each student brings a unique story to share.” Sandra enjoys using creative curriculum to support her students in telling their stories, and helping students forge connections between each other and with the community at large. “Adobe Youth Voices has created a community that goes beyond the classroom walls.”
Sandra is volunteering as an Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards judge, yet another opportunity to help students understand themselves as part of a global community of artists.