High school portfolio helped land scholarship
Jimmy Horner, a 2009 Washington County Technical High School graduate, demonstrates the use of his laptop to create an illustration for a demo reel he is designing for a class at University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he is a student. (Submitted photo)
The scholarship pays for part of his tuition and trips to see art performances each semester.
According to the university’s website, Linehan artist scholars study with UMBC’s internationally recognized professional arts faculty and frequently participate in faculty research.
The program offers an academic scholarship to selected candidates majoring in the visual and performing arts who show high artistic and intellectual ability.
“Technical High was the most influential years of schooling,” Horner wrote in an email. “... In the class, Mr. Nikirk taught about the processes of animation, game development, technical writing, working as a team and how to be a self-taught student.”
Horner wrote that he “left the class with a portfolio, a game viewed by Microsoft executives and a published animation for Western Maryland Public Libraries. The work produced in my class led to my decision to go to UMBC and become an animation student.”
Horner, a sophomore majoring in animation and interactive media within the visual arts department, graduated from high school in 2009. He said the decision to leave his home school, Boonsboro High, was one of the best he’s ever made.
“For me, animation was my passion and life. The choice was simple to leave my home school and go to Tech. After my first few months, I realized that nothing was truly lost when going to Tech High,” Horner wrote.
He said he was still able to play soccer at Boonsboro High and to see his friends.
“Tech also gave me a chance to meet new friends and make strong, lasting relationships with peers from other schools,” Horner added.
Horner, the son of Kim and Dee Horner of Boonsboro, said he logged more than 700 student-service learning hours while in high school and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, completing his Eagle project at the Washington County Arts Council in Hagerstown.
His dream is to work for Pixar or Disney as an animator. This summer he will work as a camp counselor for animation and game development at Hagerstown Community College’s College for Kids program.