Universe is a not-for-profit, after-school art center for students K-3. Although every child is welcome, Universe is strategically located to serve economically disadvantaged communities across the U.S.
RESEARCH / BRAND / CAMPAIGN / WEB DESIGN
For this school project, I worked independently. The assignment was to concept a large-scale business from the ground up and develop its brand. While concepting, I knew I wanted to create a not-for-profit, and through my research I became very interested in the educational disparities that exist between children from affluent communities and children from economically disadvantaged communities.
My goal while creating Universe was to create a safe environment for children to express themselves, connect with other kids, and unwind from the stresses in their lives. Universe opens doors that lead to opportunity and growth through art techniques, imagination exploration, and problem-solving.
The name Universe:
stands for the infinite opportunities and and possibilities that art can provide for children.
Where people call home has a significant impact on their lives. For children and families, location impacts crucial factors, including the number of safe spaces available for playing outside, access to fresh produce, quality of education, and accessibility of afterschool programs.
In affluent neighborhoods, families have access to an entire community full of positive experiences and influences. In communities of concentrated poverty, research has found the opposite. Children living in these communities are more likely to attend schools where the dropout rate is high and test scores are low, and to live in less safe neighborhoods with rates of crime.
CAMPAIGN: WHY IS COMMUNITY INTEGRATION SO IMPORTANT?
We can position our program to be both approachable and accessible
We can get kids excited and get parents interested in our program
We believe that direct communication is the best approach to reach, empower, and strengthen families
Below are two neighboring counties in Michigan. Despite the proximity to one another, a child growing up in Wayne County will attend schools that have a lower percentage of students who graduate on time and will live in a community with a higher unemployment rate and a higher percentage of disconnected youth (youth ages 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor employed).