SHINE 2023 Summary – Forging New Pathways

SHINE 2023 was a four-month mentorship program that paired 24 mentors and 24 mentees in a transformative journey. Focused on Design for Good projects, the program aimed to enhance portfolios and develop soft skills for creative professionals.

Building a Foundation for Success:

The SHINE mentorship program kicked off with an orientation, where mentors and mentees were introduced to each other and given a glimpse into the program’s objectives and past successes. The mentors, experienced professionals with diverse backgrounds in design and related fields, played a pivotal role in guiding their mentees, professionals with 0-4 years of experience, throughout the program. 

Working on Design for Good Projects:

One of the unique aspects of the SHINE program was its emphasis on Design for Good projects. Each pair of mentors and mentees collaborated on projects that aimed to address real-world challenges and make a positive impact in the DC community. From rebranding local nonprofits to designing inclusive user interfaces, the projects spanned a wide range of areas, showcasing the potential of design as a force for good. Some of the non-profits our cohort worked with are Tech Turn Up, Beacon House, and the Northern Virginia Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons.

Enhancing Portfolios and Skills:

Beyond the specific projects, the SHINE program also aimed to help participants enhance their portfolios and develop essential soft skills as creative professionals. Mentors provided valuable guidance and feedback, helping mentees refine their design process, improve technical skills, and further develop their resumes and interviewing skills. Halfway through, the mentors connected with one another to swap tips & tricks for success in the program, and the mentees did the same.

Celebrating Achievements:

At the culmination of the program, a grand finale event was held to celebrate the achievements of the SHINE participants. The event showcased the participants’ projects, allowing mentees to present their work to the rest of the cohort. The event served as a testament to the growth, resilience, and creative brilliance that the program nurtured in each mentee.

The mentees emerged as more confident, skilled, and socially conscious creative professionals. And our mentors came away with new leadership skills and exposure to fresh perspectives through their mentorship relationships. The lessons learned, connections forged, and experiences gained during the four-month journey will undoubtedly continue to shape their careers and drive positive change in their communities.

Cheers to the mentors, mentees, volunteers, and sponsors who made SHINE 2023 a resounding success! We’re looking forward to continuing this program for many years to come.

View some of the final projects 

Program Sponsors

Stickermule, Dian Holton, Underground Printing, Mohawk

By Megan Kimmitt
Published June 13, 2023