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EVIT communications programs aim for diversity

May 5, 2014

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Media contact: CeCe Todd, (480) 461-4032

You wouldn’t know it by talking with Ally Baker or Sydney Snyder, but women are a minority in the industries in which they plan to pursue careers – radio and multimedia.

In May, the two teens will complete their programs at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, where their real-life work experiences have made them confident in themselves and the strong role women can play in communications fields.

“We’re treated like adults at EVIT. We have so much responsibility,” said Baker, 17, a senior from Chandler’s Hamilton High School, who can be heard regularly on EVIT’s radio station, The Pulse at 90.7 and 92.7 FM.

Snyder, 17, a senior from Chandler High School, shoots photography and works with clients who contract with the multimedia program for paid services. “EVIT gives you a lot of experience and you learn all the different aspects of multimedia,” she said.

The radio/audio production and multimedia programs, along with the video production and 3D animation programs, form the core of EVIT’s communications classes. They are among more than 30 occupational training programs currently enrolling at EVIT, which offers tuition-free classes to high school students who reside in Scottsdale, Mesa, Fountain Hills, Tempe, Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs and Queen Creek school districts. Tuition-based programs for adults are also offered with financial aid available.

As part of its commitment to provide a workforce that meets the market-driven needs of business and industry, EVIT promotes the enrollment of non-traditional students. The state of Arizona defines “non-traditional” as occupational training or fields of work for which individuals from one gender comprise less than 25 percent of those employed in the work force.

Under that definition, female students are non-traditional in radio/audio, multimedia, video and 3D animation programs.

Radio instructor Steve Grosz said that most people have grown up with men dominating media industries. But increasingly, that is changing.

“Females have stepped out of the shadows. There are more opportunities for them today,” Grosz said, adding that the Federal Communications Commission has put pressure on radio and all media to look at non-traditional areas and expand gender and ethnic diversity.

Baker doesn’t think of herself as a non-traditional student, but she does believe her confidence as a woman in radio has grown due to her work experience at EVIT.

The communications programs offer students the opportunity to work directly with the public. Radio students are regularly out in the community helping with remote broadcasts. Multimedia students are hired by businesses in need of marketing materials, photography, smartphone applications, web design and more. Video students contract with clients to provide scripting, storyboarding, voice-overs, and post-production graphics.

Video instructor Enna Post stresses to her students the value of having a strong work ethic.

“You have to be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. If someone says, ‘Hold the boom mic’, you hold the boom mic. You have to understand this is how you move up,” Post said. “Work ethic, being willing to do anything – that’s what it takes.”

Multimedia teacher Eric Perez said his program lays the foundation for students to take more advanced classes in college. And, the multimedia and radio programs, as well as 3D animation, give EVIT students a jump-start on college by offering dual enrollment college credit.

Two out of three EVIT students go on to college. Snyder plans to attend Grand Canyon University, and Baker plans to continue her education at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California.

“Everyone has a gift and my gift is talking,” Baker said. “I want to use my voice to represent the voice of those too scared to talk.”

To register for the 2014-15 school year, visit www.evit.com and see your high school counselor. For more information, contact enrollment director Melissa Valenzuela at (480) 461-4153 or mvalenzuela@evit.com.

It is the policy of the East Valley Institute of Technology District #401 to provide all persons with equal employment and education opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, marital status, age or disability. District grievance procedures will be followed for compliance with Title IX and Section 504 requirements. The compliance officer is the EVIT Superintendent.