BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Students receive instruction. A model strikes a pose. And hands quickly start to sketch. This is one of several in-studio classes on Pratt Institute's campus specifically designed for high schools students.
It's part of a three year free program called the Pratt Young Scholars.
"My teacher said I should apply to the Pratt Young, that it would be a great experience for me and I did. And I got in," said Pratt student Ajani Stewart.
Stewart graduated from the program last year and is now a freshman at Pratt. All high school students start in the 10th grade and spend three years attending after school, Saturday and summer classes to build up their creative talents.
"They take a range of courses. Drawing figures, drawing the object, film, photography, architecture. The program mirrors the disciplines available at an art and design school such as Pratt," said Aileen Wilson, Director of Community Engagement K-12 at Pratt Institute.
They not only come out with a portfolio but they also get SAT and college prep.
"It's a great experience for me and it actually gives us a chance to take college courses and gives me a sense of the expectation they would have in college," said freshman Jiale Chen.
Launched in 2013, the Pratt Young Scholars is just the latest community outreach initiative on the college campus, which has seen more than 50,000 kids participate through the years. Children's programming here started in 1897 with this woodworking class.
"We took out one of the brochures from 1919 and you'll see children in the studio drawing in the Pratt studios," Wilson said.
The school says its founder Charles Pratt created the children's courses to share Pratt's resources and expertise with the community. Those eligible for the Young Scholars must attend a city public school, show an interest in art and design, obtain a recommendation letter and demonstrate financial need. They must also commit to the intensive program. Student Alyssa Contreras says it's helped her carve out a unique career path.
"I want to pursue animation. It's definitely a passion of mine that I've come to love. I never had any experience prior to entering this major but I've learned so much along the way," she said.
The application deadline for the next group of high school students is March 2.