Advocacy Programs

Connecting our next generation of designers to working professionals


To kick off 2018, we hosted our first Back-to-Design Night at Microsoft to connect students and their families to professional designers.

This event is part of our new Connect stage which enables youth to apply what’s been learned in the classroom directly to the workplace. Programs will include events, workshops, mentorship, and internships.

We were fortunate enough to have representatives from companies such as Netflix, Google, and JPMorgan Chase share how they discovered their passion for design and what they do in their day to day jobs:

  • Mariam Braimah, Product Designer at Netflix
  • André Pennycooke, Vice President of User Experience Design at JPMorgan Chase
  • Michelle Nguyen, Sign Painter & Designer
  • Will Tyner, User Experience Researcher at Google

After the lightning talks, we began “Connections!” where students and families connected with designers and asked them questions about their professional practice and career development. This was our first event of the year, and we look forward to providing similar opportunities to our community in the future.

We want to extend a big thank you to our speakers for sharing their stories, Microsoft for hosting, Town Kitchen, an Oakland youth catering company, and Let’s Roll, for the awesome food, the photographers, Ether Ling & Alexis Lucio, for capturing many wonderful moments, and the volunteers who devoted time outside of their day to make this event possible.