A project of the Youth Empowerment Project, YEP Design Works gives underserved youth a competitive edge on the pathway to sustainable creative careers.
Alberta graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Art History and Human Rights (summa cum laude) and joined Teach For America in New Orleans. She taught and held leadership positions for four years in New Orleans public high schools. During her time teaching, saw a systematic lack of high-quality arts education and career training in creative digital media to meet the needs of creative youth. Inspired by a youth arts organization she’d graduated from as a teen, she developed the concept for Young Creative Agency with 4.0 Schools in 2012 and piloted in her classroom. YCA concluded its full pilot year in the fall of 2015. She has worked with Artists For Humanity, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Teen Vogue, Gris Gris Lab, Arts Council of New Orleans, Pelican Bomb, The Joan Mitchell Foundation and KidSmART.
During the Accelerator, nine youth participants worked at least 7.5hrs/week for four months, with earning potential of $960. $5,600 was earned through graphic design services (exceeded goal by $2,000). Two youth participants have been placed in an internship with successful working creatives: one a blogger, the other an artist, graphic designer and set producer. Three will continue on to their senior year of high school, two will continue with another round of YCA programming, two are moving on to jobs in unrelated but flexible fields that will allow them to continue freelance graphic design work. 100% of participants improved on a technical skill rubric, as judged by design mentors, as well as a soft skills. They are also on track, through the securing of key, high-profile contracts, to earning an additional $14,656.
The guidance and support from Propeller helped Young Creative Agency more than quadruple our earned revenue and craft a thorough long-term vision. Through the pro bono support network, we have a foundation of legal and accounting tools that will further carry us forward towards our goal of empowering all creative youth to compete for the digital media jobs of their city’s future.
Founder, Young Creative Agency (Propeller'15)