Write to the Point!

A Neighborhood Studios Program at the Mark Twain House

Archive for the tag “High school”

Molly Miller: Journalist, Actor, Singer, and New UConn Student


Molly Miller, center, spent her summer as a Writing Apprentice at Twain Studios. Behind Miller are, from left, Ambriel Johnson, Lina Allam and Rae Martin. Photo courtesy of the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

By Ashaya Nelson

Writing Apprentice

Twain Studios

Molly Miller, a new freshman at UConn this fall, was still deciding over the summer what to study other than journalism.

Does she want to also study environmental science or history?

Miller has been interested in history since a young age.  She was “weirdly obsessed” with World War II and Hitler, and her dream is to become a writer for a magazine or newspaper.

Senior year of high school Miller wrote for her school’s newspaper. It was stressful being in charge of the newspaper, but she continues to be determined to write for a major magazine in the future.

When Miller isn’t writing, she’s singing. But you won’t catch her singing solo.

“Hate singing alone,” said Miller.

She isn’t as shy as she used to be.

Last year, she worked at a theatrical camp for children, where a 12- year-old girl motivated her. The girl was shy at the beginning of the camp, but became confident.

Asked if she helped the girl gain self-confidence, Miller said, “She helped me.”

When in the cast of Annie, the adults involved also helped Miller come out of her shell. When she needed someone to talk to, they were there for her, something she appreciated.

An obsession of Miller’s is the panda bear.

It all began when her brother brought her a panda hat. She refused to take off the hat when teachers asked her to do so, saying that wearing it was part of her religion.

A friend gave her a pillow pet for her 17th birthday, naming it “Shipanda.”

In an interview over the summer, Miller said she might bring Shipanda with her to college, but said her roommate will think it’s creepy.

Pillow pet or not, the summer found Miller ready for college.

“Looking forward to it,” she said.

But there could be one hitch: Is her father looking forward to it?

Miller is daddy’s little girl, and enjoys a good relationship with her father.

Gilbert Goes Global to Act Local

Gilbert Bwette addresses the Jakes

Gilbert Bwette of Kampala, Uganda, presents to the apprentices of the Twain Studios last week.

By Grant Henry and June Tran

Writing Apprentices

Twain studios

Americans have an abundance of education, information and resources, a Ugandan photojournalist said in a recent presentation at the Mark Twain House & Museum.

Gilbert Daniel Bwette, 24, offered insight on the contrast between American and Ugandan cultures, starting with schooling.

In Uganda, there is no free public education for children, Bwette said, adding that his grandfather paid for him to attend school.

Bwette was amazed at the opportunities Americans have, especially young people.

In Uganda, primary education is not regulated by the government, he said, and often the teachers and funds are not provided, leading to a discrepancy between the private and public sectors.

Bwette said it’s difficult for students to obtain resources and job opportunities. Only about 35 percent of those who graduate from high school or who have a college degree will get a job, he said.

After completing high school, Bwette spent two years struggling to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

This was not the first hurdle Bwette faced in his educational career. He said that during high school there were times he failed or when it felt like “it’s not really worth it.”

Eventually, he met the celebrity hip hop artist Babaluku, and became “connected” to him. It was this connection which inspired him to finish school and aim for an artistic career.

Bwette chose to be a photojournalist as opposed to the three ideal careers in Uganda: a doctor, lawyer or engineer.

Gilbert Bwette addresses the Jakes.2 jpg

Gilbert Bwette presents before the apprentices of the Twain Studios

Although he said his mother “almost slapped” him when he told her his plans to pursue photography, he wasn’t scared of the limited income that his path would take him.

Bwette traveled to the United States as a youth presenter at a hip hop conference in Washington, D.C.

There are Ugandans who aren’t as lucky as Bwette, he said. An economic motivation sometimes isn’t a strong enough catalyst for these youths to push themselves in education.

According to Bwette, there is a rudimentary class division between those that are in power in the Ugandan government and average citizens who are simply trying to make ends meet.

In his work with the Ugandan youth, Bwette helps expose young people to a variety of careers that would afford them a better income while also contributing to their communities.

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