When I heard that City Tech was the hosting this event, I knew that I wanted to attend, not just because of its connivence, but out of a sense of school pride. It was definitely cool seeing other individuals from elsewhere come to my home turf. Seeing familiar faces also provided a sense of a community that felt refreshing.
Acting as the moderator of the night’s panel was none other than George Garrastegui, who has assisted me on a number of occasions with registration issues. Part of what made this event unique, was that all three panelists were people of color and diversity is more important than ever before.
One of the recurring topics during the event was dealing with self doubt and not letting it cripple you. One of the panelists, Sharon Winston, told the classic tale of being stuck in a career that ultimately proved to be unfulfilling and wanting to make a change. Winston make a bold leap and now he’s an assistant creative director. The fact that he is from Queens like me, added an extra layer of inspiration.
Another panelist by the name of Ruki provided her own unique perspective to the mix. Since she is of South Asian decent, Ruki spoke of the parental pressure that she faced. Many South Asian parents traditionally push their children to become doctors and lawyers. Her being a “creative” made her childhood a little more challenging. As she honed her craft, along with moving up in the professional world, her parents began to understand graphic design.
At the end of the panel discussion I was able to network with a variety of individuals, some of which were students that I had seen before, but never spoke too. As a person of color, it’s always nice to see people of similar ethnic backgrounds excelling in the same field as me. Overall it was a superb event, and i left there feeling proud that I was a City Tech student.