In New York City alone, thousands of children each year enter into the child welfare system. While in care, there are minimal opportunities for creative expression, mentorship or support.
In response to this need, workshops were launched to offer at-risk youth a chance to develop their creative ability and learn the basics of design. Gradually the concept evolved into activities appropriate for after-school and job training programs. The goal is to provide a platform to teach participants how to generate, visualize, prototype their ideas. I call it Design Time.
Eventually the audience grew to include professionals from the foster care community. In these workshops I taught participants how to explore areas of interest and discover new connections by creating mind maps.
In May 2016, the New York Foundling, invited me to participate in a summer program called Camp Felix. It proved to be the most challenging workshop to date. Participants ages 8-13 had a range of abilities and conditions. Over four weeks 75 youth explored draw techniques and learned about design, science, and math by making kites.
Over the past several years as my expertise with facilitating kid-centric design workshops continued I have expanded my network to work groups such as KIDmob and a variety of social impact projects.