Featured Pre-College Alumni: Moises Estrada

Moises Estrada spent last summer with Putney’s Pre-College enrichment program at Amherst College. A student at South San Francisco High School, Moises came east for the summer with a specific focus: Architecture and Fashion Design. Under the direction of instructors Mammi-Ama Ofori and Rob Warner, his passions took flight. Now in the final semester of his senior year of high school, Moises has been accepted into an impressive collection of Arts and Design programs. He will be attending California College of the Arts in the fall. Read on as we interview Moises about his experience on the summer Pre-College program for high school students. 

Which seminars did you take this summer with on your Pre-College enrichment program at Amherst College? What did you get out of these courses? I took Architecture and Fashion Design. These courses taught me to be a better designer.  I learned new themes and techniques like elevations in architecture and croquis plus alterations in Fashion. The seminars really helped me focus my passions.

Moises works with fabrics in his Fashion and Design seminar.

How would you describe the staff on this high school summer program? What sort of activities did you do? My teachers were great. I wouldn’t change anything about them or the way that they taught. It was clear that they loved what they were doing and that they truly were sharing their passion with us. They were always helping me out and encouraging me to alter certain things to make the outcome better. I put on a fashion show for Fashion and Design and I designed a final residency for a specific place which was great because we were able to showcase it at the final night!

What do you remember about the community throughout the summer? How would you describe your fellow Pre-College Excel at Amherst College students? What I remember the most was the first night. We went bowling and I was able to interact with a lot of students. The students here are very diverse, fun, kind and very, very social. The sense of community made me want to stay much longer after the program ended.

Moises presents his work at the Excel fashion show.

Can you describe a particular activity, excursion, or moment that has stuck with you throughout the school year? I think the excursion to Montreal, Canada, has stuck with me the most because it made me feel very independent. We were there during a Canadian celebration day and it was great to see part of their culture as well. Also, seeing Montreal Jazz concert was pretty interesting. I enjoyed every minute of it.

We here at the Putney barn have caught wind of your exciting plans to study Architecture and Fashion in college next year. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Being that it is my last year in high school, I have been researching colleges that offer great programs in Architecture and Fashion Design. I have been accepted so far to Savannah College of Art and Design, Otis College of Art and Design, California College of Arts, and Sacramento State. I have received great scholarship offers and I plan on attending California College of the Arts in the fall!

What sort of advice do you have for high school students preparing for a Pre-College summer program at Amherst College? I would say to enjoy every single day of the trip and learn as much as you can in this friendly environment. Be open to interacting with others because it will allow you to create long lasting friendships! The staff is also cool!

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