Art, history, and ecology are all part of the learning experiences gained when a museum’s junior docents guide visitors through exhibits.
On the first day that Jared Pitcan gave tours of the exhibit on the art of video games at the Hudson River Museum, he discovered that it wasn’t just a matter of knowing the information. He had been trained along with other docents, and knew what needed to be said. He just didn’t know how to present it to the group.
Pitcan is one of about 65 students who is a junior docent. The high school students become guides and educate the families and groups that visit the museum. They represent nearly all Yonkers high schools.
“They really are the face of the museum,” said museum director of education Jennifer Patton.
The docents start in freshman or sophomore year as volunteers. After a year, they receive minimum wage and some are promoted into regular jobs at the museum. They are also given college prep workshops and field trips of college campuses, along with their weekly training.