DeSanti and Castillo intern with AeroLab

Angel Castillo and Emma DeSanti meet with their mentors through Zoom.
Angel Castillo and Emma DeSanti meet with their mentors through Zoom.

West Grand High School seniors Emma DeSanti and Angel Castillo have spent their spring semester with
the team at Colorado AeroLab through the WGSD internship program. What began as a casual
conversation in late December quickly blossomed into a full-blown internship that will be ending in a
couple of weeks. DeSanti and Castillo are both interested in pursuing careers that involve graphic design
and saw the internship as a great opportunity to expand the skillsets necessary for a career in this field.

In her own words, Emma remarked, “My internship experience has been unforgettable…[it] has provided
me with knowledge that I can take on to my future. I can take what I learned and apply it in college and
my career.” Angel echoed those sentiments by stating, “My intern experience at Colorado AeroLab is the best opportunity West Grand has offered me as a student. I have learned so much from all the different
personnel in the little time I have interned.” Time spent on the internship is a combination of self-directed learning, instructor-facilitated design sessions, and practical application of the skills acquired. If you come across any flyers or posters relating to Colorado AeroLab’s programs and services—to include “5 th Day” and related events—chances are Emma or Angel had a hand in creating them.

Mentors to these aspiring artists and entrepreneurs are Teresa McDermott, graphic design artist out of Glenwood Springs, and Elaine Menardi, Chief Innovator at AeroLab. Even in a time of social distancing and self-quarantine, Angel and Emma continue meeting with their mentors online. “Emma and Angel are creative thinkers with a great eye for design. They are passionate, eager to learn new skills and a pleasure work with. I am confident they will be very successful in whatever area of design they choose to specialize,” remarked McDermott. In the short amount of time they have been a part of the AeroLab team, Emma and Angel have proven that they are self-motivated, driven individuals with their sights set on
a bright future. It has been truly rewarding to watch how much they have grown from January to now. Emma and Angel have found reward as well. In Emma’s words, “[t]he most valuable part of my intern experience has been working to
further my skills while enjoying the projects I put my time into.” For Angel, “…making connections with
professionals that will help me succeed through college and beyond.” It is clear that even though this
chapter in their lives is closing, Emma and Angel have already begun writing the next one. And there is
no doubt that it will be better than the first.