Graphic design students at McDowell High School are expanding their portfolios in real world work before they even graduate high school.

Two local businesses, Table Rock Quarries of Marion and VIC Motorsports of Burnsville, needed logos for their companies, and 45 MHS students stepped up to compete with their designs for that spot.

Student Ethan Hamm won $100 for his logo for VIC Motorsports, and Keng Lynhiavu won $100 for his design for Table Rock Quarries.

“When giving students real jobs such as these, something real happens in their learning,” said Graphic design instructor Myra Morgan. “They become adults in seconds. How they conduct themselves changes. It's no longer about coming in to class to complete fake projects. It's no longer about me as their teacher. It's all about the client.”

Morgan said she guides the students through the process, concentrating on the elements and principles of design with their idea.

“The students do it all, including contacting and meeting with the client,” Morgan said. “This type of learning is crucial to their portfolio and experience. No matter what degree they have, an employer is looking for experience.”

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