Spark216 Exposing youth to design careers

These interactive events expose the next generation of creative youth, ages 11-15 to design careers with learning activities led by local design professionals. Attendees will expand their creativity by participating in sessions about graphic design, web design, architecture, photography, illustration, and design thinking. Spark216 also offers parents an info session to learn more about careers in design and their impact on the workforce in the 21st century.

The Creative Control Fest Edition

This third edition of Spark216 partnered with the Creative Control Fest (CCF) in Columbus, Ohio to expose youth, ages 7-15, to the power of design. Youth attendees focused on prototyping solutions for physical and emotional safety. They were introduced to the fuzzy front end of design, empathy maps and the design thinking process. Below are photographs of the workshop.

held on Saturday, September 29th as the design youth component to the Creative Control Fest in Columbus Ohio (http://creativecontrolfest.com/CCF5/)

The Creative Control Fest Edition Wrap Up Video

The Summer Edition at Cleveland State University

held at Cleveland State University, 1901 East 13th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44115

The Summer Edition Wrap Up Video

Team Members:

Jacinda Walker, designExplorr

Founder and Creative Director of designExplorr

Jacinda Walker is the founder of designExplorr, an organization that celebrates design learning by creating opportunities that expose Black and Latino youth to design. She also serves as ExOfficio Chair of AIGA’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Walker has over 20 years of industry experience as a designer, entrepreneur and instructor. Jacinda earned her BFA in graphic design from the University of Akron and a MFA in Design Research & Development with a minor in Nonprofit Studies from The Ohio State University. Her future goals include working with organizations to establish design education initiatives and develop design programs for underrepresented youth.

Jamal Collins, Jayworking

Visual Design Consultant of Jayworking

Jamal Collins is a Visual Design Consultant who teaches at risk youth graphic design throughout the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio. Jamal provides these youth with the beneficial resources to develop the necessary skills that will introduce them into the creative field. He provides a solid visual educational experience by guiding youth in developing the capacity for challenging their sense of imagery and creativity, systemic critical thinking, and preparing them for client-based practices. They explore the latest design technology such as Adobe Creative Cloud, photography, and video editing. They also learn about social awareness, marketing, branding, and promotions.

Jermel Wilkerson, JwilkSr

Web & visual designer

Jermel Wilkerson Sr. is a web & visual designer from Twinsburg Ohio. He has worked in the digital and web industry for over 20 years, creating digital strategies and experiences for brands and organizations. Jermel’s passion for design and desire to make an impact on creative youth is fulfilled through his design mentoring. The success of the mentoring is credited to the emphasis on parent engagement; providing tools, resources, and ways for parents to invest in their children’s passion for art & design.

Robert Gatewood, Full Spectrum Gamerhaven

Founder of Master Collective

Robert Gatewood is founder of Master Collective, a Creative Services company with a focus on hyper-local entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Based in his neighborhood of Collinwood in Cleveland, Ohio, the company works as a collaborative, allowing creators to pool resources and contacts to streamline the processes of their work. Freeing creatives by managing shared business functions empowers more people and accelerates neighborhoods' development, a critical mission of Master Collective's. Robert serves as Marketing Chair and Secretary for Northeast Shores Development Corporation, the Community Development Corporation in Collinwood. He teaches workshops to students on Graphic Design and other creative avenues.

The Design Edition

held at Full Spectrum: GamerHaven, 818 E 185th St, Cleveland, OH 44119 https://mastercollective.us/fullspectrum

The Design Edition Wrap Up Video

Information session on the design thinking process...

Parent Information Sessions

These con-current sessions will repeat through the entire event and include important topics such as understanding design disciplines, career & salary projections, and handouts with local resources for parents with creative youth to learn about the design profession and design careers.

Student worksheets from graphic design table...

Logo from the graphic design table...

Illustration ideation table

Architecture table items

Nametag informational passports

Program Workbook Booklet...

Event apparel...

Supplies for prototyping student ideas...

Our Design Leaders

An introduction of Adobe Spark to develop student projects

Adobe Spark is a free, online and mobile graphic design app used to easily create beautiful images, videos, and web pages that make you stand out on social. This app is integrated into the suite of storytelling applications developed by Adobe Systems. It comprises three separate design apps: Spark Post, Spark Page, and Spark Video. You may learn more about the app here https://spark.adobe.com/.


Use the design thinking process, all the available supplies, photography tools and the capabilities of Adobe Spark to develop a solution for this scenario and create a prototype to visually demonstrate the possibility of your solution. Below are two solutions developed by our youth attendees.

Project 2 from Program workshop booklet—

How could you communicate to your school they should provide better lunch choices to students?

The scenario: Lunch time at school is your favorite part of the day. You get to talk and laugh with your friends, and you get to eat snacks. Lately, you have noticed that your friends don’t want to go to the cafeteria for lunch because they don’t like the food choices provided. Neither of you have the money to go anywhere else. This situation has to change... quick! Use your design mind to keep this important time with your friends and get better food choices in the cafeteria.

An image from an 11-year old student who developed a prototype describing that "Healthy Food = Happy Kids."

Project 5 from Program workshop booklet—

Develop a public awareness campaign that encourages your classmates to think about going to college.

The scenario: You are never too young to plan for the future, and higher education should be somewhere in that plan. On one hand yes, grit and grind are very important. But on the other hand research shows the yearly income gap between high school and college graduates is around $17,500. That’s $1 million over a lifetime. Those kind of stakes will require a lot of thought and even more planning. What can you design to encourage your classmates to think about their future?

Team from the August 4th Summer Edition event

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