SAY Sí, one of San Antonio’s leading after-school multidisciplinary arts programs, will be seeking applications Jan. 18-23 for new students to take part in five of its programs in 2016.
SAY Sí offers middle school and high school students tuition-free instruction in creative disciplines including visual arts, theater and filmmaking.
“We try and accept students who come from low-income households and we always keep that above 50%,” SAY Sí Communications Manager Stephen Guzman said. “That’s because we are tuition-free and we want to offer our program to students who really need it the most.”
What makes SAY Sí even more unique amid after-school programs Guzman added, is that students – who commit to a year when signing up – routinely come back year after year.
“If a student joins us in middle school, we expect them to stay with us throughout middle school and high school, too, if possible,” he said. “It’s really a creative community. … We offer so much more than just learning (practical and creative) skills in our programs.”
SAY Sí will extend the recruitment process through Feb. 11 for their newest program, Home for Innovation and Video Ecology, or HIVE, that is offered exclusively to high school students.
“(HIVE) is a technology-based program,” Guzman said. “We’ve done some shifts and changes to allow for more room for more students, that’s why we’re having longer recruitment for that.”
HIVE initially started as a game design program and includes digital art, coding, 3-D modeling and animation as well as interactive media art and comic book production.
SAY Sí requires students to complete and submit an online application here. The application provides information about student requirements, available programs, and asks students to describe their interests and home life.
Following the application, students come to the SAY Sí office for an in-person interview. Though high school students may interview alone, middle school applicants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“In the interview, (students) meet with the program instructor, and they get a sense of what the students are interested in and see if (Say Sí) is the right fit for them,” Guzman said.
Once a student is accepted into the program, there are requirements they must maintain in order to keep their enrollment. Middle school students must go to SAY Sí every Saturday, and high schoolers must put in a minimum of eight hours a week, 10 hours during the summer, at the facility, all while working on projects that will culminate in an end-of-the-year exhibit, screening or theater production. Students also must keep their grades at a minimum C average in school.
SAY Sí is hoping to admit 40 to 50 new students for this year.
*CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that SAY Sí typically keeps the number of students admitted from low-income households between 50% and 60%. SAY Sí representatives clarified that they try to keep that number above 50%, but not limited to 60%.
*Top image: A SAY Sí visual arts student sculpts a hand. Photo Courtesy of SAY Sí.