For our culminating and last challenge of the 2021-2022 program year, eight teams of Fellows selected nonprofits to work with that they were excited to support. Leveraging skills practiced and developed over the course of the fellowship, they co-designed these project collaborations with their partner organization. Fellows Emily Wilson, Viridiana Camacho Murga, and Kristen Chu partnered with nonprofit L!FE Leaders with Amy Nederlander and Angelica Williams. Learn more about the collaboration below.

For our choice project, we partnered with L!FE Leaders, a youth development organization with the goal of utilizing improv and theater to teach Emerging Leaders (youth and young adults ages 14-24) interpersonal and professional skills. As part of their mission to empower and provide opportunity for youth in Detroit, L!FE Leaders organizes a youth policy summit every year, called the Detroit Youth Summit, to give youth a platform to speak on city-wide policies and issues, and to network with those around them. Our partnership with L!FE Leaders gave us an opportunity to work alongside the amazing production team (made up of L!FE students) to provide recommendations on how to best market this year’s summit. To accomplish this, we developed based on our design thinking question: “How might we co-design a Detroit based youth policy summit to emerging leaders to build their own future?” 

As we interviewed our stakeholders and pulled insights from their perspective of the summit, one important quote stuck with us – Jill Brack, one of L!FE’s supporters and board member, said this: “If we make long lasting impact in one emerging leader, then the Detroit Youth Summit was worth the investment”. While our team ideated and prototyped, we had this quote in the back of our minds to ensure that our deliverables embodied L!FE’s goal and mission. We wanted to create something that reflected a summit that was organized by the youth, for the youth!

Our final deliverables consisted of a marketing toolkit, marketing recommendations, and an implementation plan to accompany the marketing effort that was already in place for the summit. One specific recommendation we explored is for L!FE Leaders to take advantage of LinkedIn, a platform that specifically allows individuals to search for professional development events, opportunities, and programs. Because the youth summit is aimed to provide all of the above, we thought it would be a great place to get exposure, harness engagement, and target emerging leaders in Detroit!