Inspiring Teens to Find Their Cultural Identity Through Art

Turn your passion into a career – that’s the message Jasmine Birch wanted to pass on to her family and community as she studied the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Bachelor of Creative Industries.

Jasmine has always loved using art as her creative outlet. She enjoyed the motivation of working with like-minded students and the encouragement and critiques she received from her teachers as she developed her skills during the degree, majoring in visual art.

“The teachers really did all they could to ensure each student would succeed. They encouraged me to create art to the best of my abilities, and art that I would be proud of.”

When she completed her degree, Jasmine carried on studying for a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching and now works as an art teacher at Tangaroa College in South Auckland.

“I teach Year 10 art, Year 12 photography, and Year 13 design, so essentially I help my students make art every day and I absolutely love it. I encourage them and they inspire me.”

Jasmine was given the opportunity to develop unit plans for the college’s Year 10 art students, focusing on painting and sculpture, and took inspiration from the cultural identity project she completed in the final stages of her Toi Ohomai degree.

“Helping my juniors find their cultural identity through creating art has been my biggest achievement as a teacher so far,” she says.


Photo: Creative graduate Jasmine Birch has found the perfect role to utilise her visual art talent.


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