The Design Project
By Mia Dickens, Partnership For the Future summer intern
This summer the Northside Club teens have been working with the Capital One ambassadors learning how to take a social issue in their community and create a solution.
For the past seven weeks, the teens have been visiting Capital One’s West Creek location, the 1717 Innovation Center, and Capital One’s Carytown Café for the “Design Project.” Through the program, Capital One ambassadors challenged the teens to identify a financial problem in their community, and plan an event that will respond to those issues. The teens were also asked to create a presentation to pitch their idea to the ambassadors. The group whose event best responded to the issues has the opportunity to host their event at Capital One’s Carytown Café.
The issues the teens came up with were too many bills, no affordable grocery stores, and not many jobs available which left many family members unemployed. After identifying the issues as a collective group, the teens divided into three groups and were each given a $3,000 budget to plan an event. Two groups chose community block parties while the third group created an amusement park theme party called "Credit Coaster." By hosting a party, the teens will have a chance to teach residents in the neighborhood about financial literacy on how to save, budget, and maintain their credit. To make learning fun, the teens decided to have game stations that will have Monopoly, the Game of Life, Pay Day, and Jeopardy!.
“I really want my group’s party to help people with their financial struggles and bring my community together,” said Kyrie.
The teens’ main takeaway for their event is to teach their community financial literacy and life skills to unify their community to become a better place. This event planning project with the Capital Café One staff has been beneficial for the Northside teens and has helped them become more engaged and effectively communicate their ideas and opinions in a business environment. Some of the teens have been inspired to one day make event planning a career in their future.
“The staff allowed me and my group to not just communicate our ideas but actually use our ideas for our event,” said Regan.
TaDreama, who was a member of the winning group, agreed. “It was amazing to be able to present our ideas and to have people love what we came up with.”
Throughout the seven-week extensive program, the Northside teens have had the opportunity to plan a well-organized event, but also acquired social and emotional learning skills such as teamwork, initiative, responsibility, and problem-solving that are essential life skills. Developing and building these types of skills are the core of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond’s intentional programming.