OUR STORY

 

Apprenticeship Connections is how potential finds application when a community of dedicated professionals, enterprising individuals, and creative minds across all walks of life come together to envision a better future.

After winning the 2014 Tom-Tom Pitch Competition, the concept of Apprenticeship Connections became a functioning program by October 2016. Today, Apprenticeship Connections’ celebrates its short history as a continually evolving program with a deep commitment to societal impact. This is made possible by our mentors and apprentices who have proven over years their dedication to our values. With only a handful of completed apprenticeships, we have already seen innovative collaborations that stem from an eagerness to meet the needs of the future.

One such example was when we connected Claire, a senior at Charlottesville High School with an interest in art and design, with our Mentor Suz Somersall, a jewelry designer and owner of Suz Somersall jewelry store. Within weeks, Claire had not only learned design software, but had started creating video tutorials for Suz’s new enterprise, KiraKira, an educational startup that teaches the fundamentals of 3D modeling software to middle and high school girls through interactive jewelry design lessons.

Claire had never envisioned that her jewelry-making apprenticeship would lead her to help make 3D modeling, and more broadly, engineering and computer programming, accessible to middle school girls across the country.

Similarly, Isaac Smith, had no idea that by the time he completed his apprenticeship with our Mentor Lauren Danley, the Metal Fabricator, he would be prepared to pass level 3 of the state certification exam. A few months earlier, Isaac, a dissatisfied waiter at a local restaurant was uninterested in attending college at that time in his life. He completed his apprenticeship with Lauren and set his 10 year goal to become a deep sea welder.

Claire and Isaac’s stories are not unique to Apprenticeship Connections. Apprenticeship Connections draws people of all backgrounds and ages, each of whom prove to be deeply committed to their pursuits, needing only an opportunity to delve deeper.

For example, one such apprentice was Tom. Tom had a medical emergency in his mid-thirties which caused physical disabilities and a lack of confidence. It took him many years to recover through hard work and determination.  Once he was physically able he took courses in filmmaking at the community college and online. These courses provided a perfect foundation for an apprenticeship with Pando Creative Co. where Tom has been learning how to shoot, edit and create complete stories in film. He might never have imagined he would also be learning what it is to operate a small business. This experience has brought Tom confidence and the ability to visualize a viable future in filmmaking.

Apprenticeship Connections is created to be an agent of change- to engage with and ultimately transform our communities. With your support of Apprenticeship Connections, you help ensure that future generations are fully prepared to lead in shaping our community’s increasingly complex social makeup.

 

THE FOUNDER

Anne_IIAnne Tilney is a staunch believer of every individual having the opportunity to explore and discover their inherent potential. After receiving her BA in Sociology from Columbia University, Anne had experiences that ranged from farming to working in the corporate sector. These enriching experiences manifested in the inception of Apprenticeship Connections. Through Apprenticeship Connections, Apprentices and Mentors engage in meaningful experiences that endure throughout a lifetime.

THE TEAM

Founder & Board Chair

Anne Tilney

Program Director

Saamia Noorali

Intern

Carly Lugus