The Port Covington Development Team, in partnership with the SB7 Coalition, created the TARGET 180 Attendance Campaign to encourage Baltimore City public school students to attend all 180 days of school. The goal of the campaign is to have local communities invest in getting students to school each day by creating spaces where students can have fun and feel special. The Port Covington Development Team is doing this by bringing parents, students, teachers and community members together for various events throughout the school year.
One of these events was the TARGET 180 Success Boot Camp, hosted by the Port Covington Development Team from Tuesday, March 27 through Thursday, March 29. This three-day training session aimed to teach students new skills on their journey towards a career path. Six students from Bay Brook Elementary-Middle School and Maree Garnett Farring Elementary School were selected for the boot camp to learn alongside experts in design, marketing and apparel manufacturing as well as hear about experiences from young entrepreneurs in the CityWide Youth Development program. The students were surveyed on their previous exposure to career preparation and more than half of them said they had never spoken to career professionals or had exposure to fields of study like marketing and design.
The boot camp began with a tour of the Under Armour campus. Then, after a short introduction and a group ice-breaker, the students met with various professionals and were challenged to create their own t-shirt designs and marketing plans to promote the TARGET 180 Attendance Campaign.
Then, during a “lunch and learn” session with Ernie Talbert, Senior Manager of Global Brand Management and Product Marketing at Under Armour, the students learned more about marketing, sales and branding. Talbert explained topics like the impact of social media and marketing campaigns as well as how to communicate “your brand” through a video that he and his team produced for Under Armour.
Following their morning at The Foundery, the students participated in a discussion with Rasheed Aziz, the founder of CityWide Youth Development to learn more about the production process. CityWide Youth Development, headquartered in Port Covington, is a non-profit organization helping to provide free skill training, internships and job placement opportunities with local manufacturing companies to youth. Aziz toured the group around the Made in BMore Clothing facility to learn more about the apparel manufacturing workforce development program, how he started the organization and what it was like for him when he was their age and in school.
Aziz said, “I like working with the younger students like the group we have here today because they’re still very impressionable and open to new ideas. They are still learning about life and reaching out to that age group now is very important to building a solid foundation and encouraging them to continue working towards their goals.”
After discussions with the industry professionals and a hands-on screen printing lesson with one of the designers at Made In BMore Clothing’s manufacturing facility, the students made samples of their designs and took turns using the silk-screen printing machines to produce two t-shirts each.
The students were surveyed again after completing the boot camp and all of them said that this was a new and memorable experience for them and that they would recommend this program to other students.
“The thing that was most exciting to witness the was the joy they had making something with their hands and seeing them go through the creation process from beginning to end. Every single student said they would want to do something like this again and that they would recommend it to other students,” said Event Organizer, Alexandra Mills.
To learn more about the TARGET 180 Campaign, click here.