Volunteer Team Member Spotlight: Student volunteers Ava Usher and Jaden George August 4, 2023 MIM offers volunteer opportunities in many areas of the museum, creating an ideal environment for student volunteers to explore their passions and work toward their goals. Student volunteers Ava Usher and Jaden George joined MIM’s volunteer team earlier this year. Ava, a high school senior, is a gallery guide and supports the Experience Gallery and special events. Jaden, a college freshman, is a former MIMkids Junior Museum Guide who now volunteers at MIMkids classes and special events. Ava Usher is a gallery guide and supports the Experience Gallery and special events. What are your goals, and how does volunteering at MIM support them? Ava: In the future, I hope to work in a museum in some capacity. I absolutely love history, and MIM has allowed me to turn that love into real-life experience working in my dream field. I have gotten the opportunity to understand the role that museums play and how they can best serve guests while educating them about different cultures and histories in an engaging and tangible way. It has opened my eyes to many more jobs within museums that I had never considered and has made me even more excited for my future career. Why is music important? Ava: Music is important because it brings everyone together. No matter who you are, you can always have that go-to song that sparks a memory or ignites emotion. Music also represents so many different cultures and experiences, so it serves as a means to preserve and express one’s identity. It is a beautiful and incredible gift that we all share. And, of course, you need something to dance to! Jaden George is a former MIMkids Junior Museum Guide and supports MIMkids classes and special events. Which programs do you support as a volunteer team member and why? Jaden: I choose to support MIMkids because MIM has a real impact on children’s lives. Children learning about music and its origins on an international scale helps them gain an understanding of other cultures. Why is MIM special to you? Jaden: MIM provided me with the first music-based educational program that didn’t revolve around the same curriculum—one based on musical eras that only apply to Europe and the United States. MIM encourages people to look at how music connects us all and how it shows our differences. At MIM, volunteer team members can lead tours, help guests in the galleries, support MIM programming and special exhibitions, encourage music making in the Experience Gallery, interact with guests at Guest Service, and more! The student volunteer program is open to college and high school students 16 and older. Learn more about volunteer opportunities at MIM.org/volunteer.