Senior art student plans to move to Las Vegas after graduation, apply at art institute

Sally Cochran, Editor in Chief

After all the long school days, nights of homework and other stresses of high school life, you walk across the stage, shaking Principal Scott Bacon’s hand and getting your official Blue Valley diploma.
Less than a month later, you’re packed up to move across the country.
Senior Samantha Harkins is planning to apply to The Art Institute of Las Vegas after moving there to live with her brother and sister-in-law and get her Nevada state ID.
“I have a job opportunity out there with my older sister because she runs a business like a preschool,” Harkins said. “I’d help her out, and I’d be paid more. My game plan is to move, figure out budgeting plans for summer and some other things before I move. Once I move, I’m going to spend that summer getting settled, getting my ID transferred to Nevada. I’m going to start applying for schools I think toward the end of summer, and I’m going to hopefully start that fall. If not, then I’ll go for next opportunity. I’m going to go off from there.”
Harkins said she is a little nervous about not being accepted but wants to affirm her decision by living in Nevada for a while.
“It kind of makes me nervous because I’m getting a later start in applying,” she said. “It’s stressful, but I want to make sure I like being out there before I completely settle in and apply for college. I don’t want to be stuck out there.”
She said her family has had a large influence on her decision.
“I have an older sister who is actually in The Art Institute at Pittsburgh right now,” Harkins said. “She’s about to graduate this fall. She’s doing basically what I want to do — she has her own photography business now that’s just growing. She’s been a really good inspiration to what I want to do — she’s helped me out a lot.”
Harkins said she would move back to Kansas if she didn’t like Nevada.
“I’m going to probably move back here and apply for Johnson County Community College for the starting years and then probably go somewhere like K-State, maybe the Art Institute out here,” Harkins said.
Harkins said she wants to be in the online program at The Art Institute of Las Vegas.
“Working with the job opportunity I have, I’ll be working in their home,” she said. “Transportation — the traffic is horrible out there, and I would hate to have to drive in it all the time. Doing online is a lot more convenient with the type of life I’ll have.”
Harkins plans on majoring in photography. She said she wants to run her own business after college.
“I want to have, not exactly a studio for photography, but I want like how [my sister] does her business,” she said. “She does it through Facebook mostly — she has her own page and everything. So, I’ll probably start off on a small website, tell a few people and just get it going that way.”
Harkins is in the iMedia program at CAPS, and she said it has helped affirm her decision to have a career in photography.
“My CAPS program has let me explore photography in a broader range and in different areas,” she said. “I’ve had so much more experience with it. I’ve done senior photos, nature photos, advertising photos — now I’ve done a wedding. I’ve done all different types of photography, and I just got closer to it.”
She said taking Photography I and Digital Imaging sparked her interest in attending art school and has helped her learn about her interests within photography.
“I’m doing more of a digital photography — that’s kind of my plan for my own business or something,” she said. “I like the idea of photography being original and everything, but then if you take that photo and you bring it into the digital spectrum, the you get to mess with it a little bit more.”