This summer, DNA launched its first Diversity Scholarship with the University of Washington. DNA is committed to growing diversity in the advertising industry by assisting talented, diverse students who are seeking future careers in the advertising and marketing field. We we’re so impressed with our applicants that we couldn’t just pick one, so we decided to award two scholarships! The award is a one-time cash scholarship and paid internship in the department of the recipients choosing. Our first recipient is Israel Sixto-Sanchez. Israel is an Art Direction intern in our creative department this summer, and Amena Sadfar will be joining us this fall as a Brand Strategy Intern.
Here’s an interview with Israel:
Tell us a little about your background & family.
My background is a little heavy; I’m a first-generation college student that didn’t receive a formal education until I was the age of thirteen. My mom and dad grew up in different regions of Mexico where work and family were valued above receiving an education. After migrating to Washington State and finding work in the fruit industry, they met, moved back to Mexico, started a family, and moved back to the states to earn their citizenship.
I stand as the second-youngest of my seven brothers. Yes, seven. Eight in total and all boys. School was a big learning curve for our family. Having parents who couldn’t entirely understand English made finding educational resources a struggle. Due to this, I was placed into remedial classes upon enrolling and struggled to catch up. Eight years of lost education crammed into one would seem impossible for any thirteen-year-old, but I was determined to make my parents’ sacrifices worth something. That something eventually earned me the Gates Millennium Scholarship and admission to the University of Washington where I’m currently in my third-year studying Informatics.
Creativity is at the heart of everything I do. From problem solving to sketching concept art, I enjoy being freely creative with all my work. Advertising first piqued my interest in high school when I competed internationally for a fashion merchandising promotion plan. I designed a mock campaign for fashion retailer Anthropologie, and quickly came to understand why I loved advertising so much. It’s this beautiful mix of talents that allow me to be highly creative, work well with teams, and understand society and cultural trends.
How did you find out about the DNA Diversity Scholarship / Internship?
I found out about DNA through an email from UW’s Office of Merit Scholarships. The Assistant Director, Emily Smith, emailed me directly about applying.
Why this DNA opportunity?
Art direction seemed like a far-off career dream. Always in sight, but never really in reach due to my study. When I first read through the application requirements I was worried my major wouldn’t align with what was being searched for. I decided I’d take the chance to tell my story as truthfully as possible and see if I could make reaching my dream a reality.
What do you hope to learn during your internship, and how it’s going???
I hope to experience all facets of Art Direction. I’m particularly excited and interested in seeing DNA’s creative workflow in action. Maybe even learning more about myself and what I want to do specifically in advertising. Even though the whole process and environment are all still new to me, I’d say it’s pretty chill here! I enjoy the creative environment and spirit of everyone involved. Every day is so uniquely interesting that I can’t wait to dive into this Internship in all its entirety!