Today's Youth Giving Hope...

Have you heard about menstrual justice?

I admittedly didn't know about this... nor did I know it was a big issue until a group of teenagers in STOKED decided to take it on as a cause for their afterschool branding project.

As part of STOKED's afterschool program, we use design thinking to help empower kids to start their own brand to solve a problem in their community. It manifests in a skateboard or action sports brand.

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They present their brand at our end of the year brand showcase, which takes place in New York and Los Angeles at the end of May.

They show it off "shark tank" style by presenting to industry professionals and in front of hundreds of STOKED students on stage.

Part of the design thinking model involves empathy and defining a problem. They discovered that homeless teens don't have access to feminine hygiene products.

So their brand raises awareness and collects feminine hygiene products for low income and homeless youth. They designed a logo, created a mission, and vision... and set off to make their project come to life.

Part of the deliverable involves creating skateboards from scratch, tee-shirts, and hoodies with their logo on it.

We get design mentors to design the logo with the direction and the initial concept/sketch coming from the young people.

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They just finished a donation drive that resulted in them collecting and donating 1,000 feminine products to a homeless shelter in New York.

Big problem...simple solution... A little guidance from mentors and a whole lot of empathy from young people.

By the way, these students are 15 and 16 year old high school sophomores.

Imagine what you could do when you put young people in the driver's seat?

I believe in them and so should you.

If you want to follow their progress, visit their instagram.

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--Steve Larosiliere