Strategy & Research
STOKED is a non-profit providing mentorships for underserved high school students through action sports and career prep programs. STOKED partnered with Huge to find new ways to improve their growing organization.
In the past year, STOKED has rebranded, expanded to a new city, and launched a podcast. Looking beyond, STOKED wanted to improve the way they document and convey the impact they have on the students in the program.
The team set out to find a way to create better tools and processes to help STOKED share their stories.
STOKED had minimal resources and no budget for this project beyond what the team hands over at the conclusion of the partnership.
STOKED lacked the staff to maintain anything beyond their current capabilities.
STOKED preferred a solution that can be implemented and used upon delivery.
Improve STOKED's blogging process through an easy and unified system for collecting and sharing content.
Partnership Case Studies
Provide a template to help STOKED showcase past and present partnerships to facilitate forming new ones.
Provide a system of templates and tools for creating a digital portfolio in order to empower STOKED students to tell their own stories.
STOKED had an existing blog before partnering up with Huge. The blog was an important part of showcasing STOKED's day to day programming for potential donors and corporate partners. However, as the result of a lack of time, process, and tools, the blog was disorganized and out of date. The limited staff meant that each person had multiple jobs and since blogging is not an essential function, it often gets overlooked. When staff members have time, many of them don't feel confident enough about their writing abilities to author an entire public post.
The team wanted to simplify and unify this process. We created a new editorial system along with tools comprised of Google forms, blog templates, and an editorial calendar to improve STOKED's blogging.
My team and I created Google Forms with standardized questions for five different types of blogs: Interview, Spotlight, Board of the Week, Photo Journal, and Podcast. STOKED staff can send out a Google Form link to whoever is being featured on the blog for the week. Whoever is being featured uses that link to answer a set of guided standardized questions.
Once answers are on Google Form, STOKED staff can then copy and paste the answers directly from the Google Form archive into the blog type's corresponding template that the team created. In the past, blogs typically took about 1 to 2 week from request to publish. Now, an entire blog can created within 15-30 minutes.
In addition to forms and templates, we wanted to make sure that STOKED staff don't forget about blogging even with their busy schedules. We created an editorial calendar made up of the different types of blogs with a cadence that is achievable without expanding their current capabilities.
STOKED mentorship programs are sustained by both financial donations and mentors dedicating their time and resources. In the mentorship arena, STOKED looked for both corporate partners and individual mentors. Forming new mentorships and partnerships is essential for STOKED to expand and provide new experiences for their students. Before we worked with STOKED, their existing recruitment content was lacking in information and confusing. Interested parties didn't know what it entailed to partner with STOKED.
The team set out to create spotlights on the two types of partnerships to showcase what it meant to work with STOKED. These spotlights were then turned into templates for STOKED to use for future features.
STOKED has had many great partnerships with companies like Vogue, Huge, Vans, and Vice. However, the existing content wasn't using these partnerships to effectively leverage new ones. We created case studies for these partnerships to serve as both examples and as a source of reassurance. These case studies included statistics, partnership details, impact statements from corporate staff and STOKED students.
Action Sports Mentorships
For individual mentors, interested parties had a hard time finding the qualifying requirements, contribution commitment, and what it actually meant be a STOKED mentor. We created an introduction microsite and pdf to highlight each of the areas mentors could get involved in. Each section included requirements, featured events, and impact statements.
Here is the skate section:
Many STOKED are interested in pursuing careers in creative fields. Despite existing social media presence, almost none of the students have their own digital sites, something that is very important for the field. Having a consolidated digital presence means an easier way to share work and experiences to potential employers or schools.
The team proposed a curriculum and provided tools to help empower STOKED students learn how to create their own digital portfolios and tell their stories.
STOKED is a four year program. For years one and two, students have year long projects, however, years three and four only have general career prep. The team proposed a year long curriculum for year three teaching students how to build their own digital portfolios. The project is broken down into month by month assignments from hosting a domain to actual content creation.
As many student may run into writer's block when trying to write about themselves, we proposed a few different modules to help guide the students during content creation. Each module showcases a different type of experience or strength. Students can talk about their experiences during STOKED or things they've done outside of the program.
Additionally, we provided a design template as an easy jumping off point for the students to get started as quickly as possible.