As a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, Jaylen Anderson has dreams of pursuing her true passion as a career, just like any other college student. For Anderson, this is photography.
“My uncle encouraged me to look into photography because of how well I did with just a phone camera,” said Anderson. “Since 2015, this has always been in the back of my mind. Photography comes naturally to me, which is a major factor.”
When Anderson came to UofSC, her hobby evolved into a potential career path. “It started when I began to take photography classes, it taught me so much about capturing moments.”
Anderson is a second-year student in CarolinaLIFE, a postsecondary education program for students with disabilities on campus. CarolinaLIFE assists students in identifying and pursuing their goals by offering individualized support across several domains, including employment. “CarolinaLIFE gave me a coach that pushed me to make my own website. I am learning about the business more and by the time I graduate I will be ready for the career,” said Anderson.
"CarolinaLIFE support staff is trained to empower a student like Jaylen to advocate for herself and explore her interests in all areas of life. Once a student discovers an interest, then we support them in finding an outlet for that interest, such as finding a club on campus to engage in or finding a UofSC course to enhance their learning in this area. Our four-year progression of courses related to employment as well as students’ internships and paid work experiences during their time in CarolinaLIFE, enhance their ability to enter the workforce in a career field they enjoy."
When it comes to the future, Anderson is already planning on transferring many of the skills she’s learned at UofSC and in CarolinaLIFE to owning her own photography business.
“I want to start my own official business. I plan to take portraits, weddings, maternity, seasonal, newborns, and so forth.”
“[UofSC] and CarolinaLIFE has provided with me with coaches for different areas of my life that push me to achieve many goals. Being here has helped me gain the confidence to pursue the career I want. I am becoming more independent every day and learning more that can help me in the future.”
Are you a local photographer interested in working with Jaylen to develop her portfolio and business plan? If so, please contact CarolinaLIFE employment coordinator, Molly Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in checking out Jaylen’s portfolio? Please visit her website at: https://jaylenandersonstudio.com.