Value Proposition: Creating Young Designers

Youth in Austin, Texas, especially from low-income families and those considered “At-Risk”, do not have access to learning about or developing skills in the design, design thinking, and creative industry. Lack of exposure to family or peers in creative fields limits their ability to explore these schools of thought. There are currently few resources that engage, inspire, and develop youth in the design field. There is also a lack of design professionals in the community reaching out to youth and offering to share/teach about creative professions (despite the wealth of design, creative, and tech companies in the area). Because of this, youth often do not get exposed to the design industry until high school or even later in their development.

· Finding/exploring personal interests
· Expressing creativity on a daily or weekly basis
· Having fun
· Making friends
· Learning about themselves
· Learning about the world
· Getting an idea of what they want to do when they grow up
· Getting involved in extracurricular activities
· Finding adult mentors they trust to teach them

· Explore creativity
· Think about possible future careers
· Opens doors to a new way of thinking
· Positive mentors to learn from
· Having fun
· Learning something new
· Making friends
· Access to technology and resources
· Good life experience

· Lack of knowledge or understanding of design/creative
· Current information too advanced or boring
· Lack of committed/knowledgeable adult mentors willing to teach
· Requires time during or after school
· Uncertain of interests or lack of confidence
· Parents may not have time or be willing to let them explore these fields
· Difficult learning curve
· No access to tech for practice
· No organized programs to learn

· Weekly after school program led by design professionals in the community to lead design and creative exercises to teach kids about the field
· Guest lessons taught by design/creative professionals in schools each week
· Quarterly, weekend, or summer camps to teach kids about design and the creative field
· An immersive app or software (possibly VR) that enables students to join virtual classrooms with other students and teachers to interactively participate in design lessons from school or home
· App or software that enables youth to learn and practice design at varying levels
· A kit with design resources and lesson plans for teachers to implement in the classroom on their own.
· A program for companies and universities to volunteer and give back to youth in the Austin community

· A wealth of knowledge from interested, caring and knowledgeable mentors
· An official, organized program parents and teachers can trust
· A bridge between youth and mentors in their local community
· A comfortable learning environment with lessons catered to grade level
· Introduction to new experience and knowledge
· Explores and fosters creativity
· Access to tech and resources
· Works into current school schedule
· Takes burden off of busy parents’ schedules
· Opportunity to make new fiends
· Encourages thought about pursuing interests and future careers as an adult

· Sense of purpose or vocation
· Keeps kids stimulated and out of trouble
· Strengthening skills
· Builds a network of mentors and opportunities for youth
· Possibility for school grants and student scholarships (present and future)
· Students can learn and teach others
· Fosters a more creative and free thinking community
· Youth insights can engage community and potentially help solve problems
· Partnerships in community, more solidified Austin.
· A budding group of design leaders