Jacksonville University’s own Donald dela Torre was featured prominently in a full-page Life section spread in The Florida Times-Union on Tuesday, May 22, for his volunteer efforts helping local students learn the art of design (see http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/arts/2012-05-18/story/mentorship-program-lets-jacksonville-students-seek-creative).
For Dela Torre, 28, JU’s art director in the Marketing and Communications Department, the program meant spending eight Saturdays and numerous after-school hours guiding Stanton College Preparatory School senior Kentaneisha Moore in graphics design.
It was all part of the Discover Design program by the Jacksonville chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design (founded as the American Institute of Graphic Arts). The program matches high school students interested in design with local professionals, according to the Times-Union article. Each pair works on a project, which this year was a smartphone app for places to visit in Jacksonville.
Dela Torre told Wave Weekly that he entered the volunteer program because he was looking for something more to do with his time, but that it “became so much more. It’s really exciting seeing the students progress through the weeks.”
While he didn’t have a design guru helping him in high school, dela Torre did have an overall mentor, and he remembered how important it was to him.
“In the end, Discover Design wasn’t so much about teaching design as it was about helping her manage her time and taking ownership of her project,” he said. “It’s important to be proud of what you’ve done, whatever it is. So it was very satisfying to me to see her growth.”