Youth Design’s unique methodology and curriculum directly addresses teen unemployment—one of the most pressing challenges facing urban communities—by enlisting the professional design community to provide critically needed summer jobs and substantive mentoring experiences year-round.
ABOVE: VICTOR COREN WITH MENTOR ANDY DEAN AT CITY YEAR.
Youth Design is committed
to providing opportunities
in multiple dimensions and
paid summer design jobs as
an essential part of our
Platform for Change.
Youth Design’s core programmatic offering is aimed at addressing the socioeconomic needs of urban youth by providing them with paid summer design jobs and exposure to the professional work environment.
The issue of teen unemployment has been proven to disproportionately impact urban youth stemming from low-income families. A staggering 14 percent of African-American teens and 19 percent of Hispanic teens from families with an income of less than $40,000 a year face virtually insurmountable odds when attempting to secure employment during the summer months. According to a recent article published in the Boston Globe, the national teen unemployment rate during the summer of 2013 was 23.7 percent, which represents essentially no change from 2012. Boston experiences a significantly lower unemployment rate for teens when compared to the national average, with a 14.7 percent rate in 2013.
Our unique model and curriculum secures paid summer employment for our Youth Designers at industry-leading design firms, advertising agencies and creative marketing departments at for profit or non-profit organizations throughout Boston. During the seven weeks—from July to late August—Youth Designers support the day-to-day activities of their placement organizations by participating in activities such as brainstorming, researching, attending meetings and presentations, and designing by working collaboratively with members of their creative team on client projects.
Since our inception we have partnered closely with the Private Industry Council (PIC) to secure summer jobs in the design industry and support citywide efforts to address the issue of teen unemployment in Boston. PIC supports Youth Design with technical, strategic, and payroll management resources and has consistently been an important advocate for Youth Designers. By working closely with the private sector, Youth Design is able to provide students with meaningful paid summer employment opportunities that aid in their economic self-sufficiency and reduce the propensity for participation in “at-risk” behavior during the summer months.