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Meet Us

Design4Kids Retreats connect talented but under served teens with experienced creative and marketing professionals in meaningful educational and cultural exchanges.

Our Mission:
We empower under privileged kids to discover their full creative potential and develop their capacity to make powerful and lasting contributions in their lives, their families, and their communities.

Our Method:
We conduct week-long workshops teaching teens the skills they need to establish and operate a successful design business. Each workshop begins with an introduction to a real client and an explanation of the communication problem. Workshops conclude with the students making a polished presentation of their proposed solution to the client. Between presentations, students learn the skills that are necessary to create and produce a successful communications solution. They receive instruction in software, photographic technique, drawing, printmaking, agency workflow, and customer service to name just a few things. The content for each workshop is guided by the needs of the client and the knowledge of the volunteers. The experience is extended beyond the workshop through follow on reviews via the internet for which volunteers are invited to participate.

Our Students:

Book Cover image Out_of_the_Dump

Out of the Dump

We work with the staff and students of Fotokids in Central America. Fotokids is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty for more than 150 of Central America’s poorest kids. An after school program that teaches photography and art to talented kids in four Central American locations, students must be enrolled in school and getting good grades in order to participate. Fotokids students are all very talented and motivated to learn.

Our Leaders:

Jeff Speigner, founder and director of the Design4Kids project was originally trained in photography but for the past 25 years has been an in-house graphic designer for one of the world’s premier aerospace companies. Inspired by the work of Nancy McGirr he jumped at the opportunity to teach his skills to talented young teens, and is proud to share this opportunity with other like-minded colleagues. One of his roles is to coordinate with volunteers and help make the workshop experience the best it can be both the students, and the volunteers. He can be reached via email at jeffspeigner@comcast.net, or by telephone at 206-331-1960.

Nancy McGirr, founder and executive director of Fotokids, is a former Reuters war correspondent and the inspiration for the Design4KIds project. It’s just spectacular what she has managed to accomplish with something that began as a photo project entitled “Out of the Dump”.

See the award-winning video about Nancy McGirr and Fotokids here.

Meet the volunteers from the first workshop here.

Meet the volunteers from the second workshop here.

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