Chances are, if you have been to Maywood Fine Arts or Stairway of the Stars, you have seen or interacted with a GOTS Intern. GOTS is an acronym for “Get off the Streets”. This program began in 2002 has grown tremendously over the years. These interns have taken a plethora of arts-focused classes at Maywood Fine Arts for at least 2 years. They also go through an amazing training program with Executive Director Lois Baumann, Managing Director Katherine Bus, and Dance Directors Heidi Renteria and Taiyana Shurn. In this hands-on program, they learn how to assist and teach in all kinds of classes including dance, tumbling, karate, and art. They learn valuable lessons about interacting with children, their peers, and adults. They gain a level of professionalism that can sometimes be hard to find in young people their age. Best of all, they learn to manage money, because they get paid. Since this is usually an introduction into the workforce, part of the training teaches them about taxes, bank accounts, and saving. Before they graduate high school, they are ready for a lot of what the world will throw at them.
The Get Off the Street and On Your Feet program is funded in part by Rotary Club of Oak Park & River Forest, Union Pacific, and EcoLab.