Shaping Youth mural before fillingCalling All Thought Leaders…

Using the force of media for good has been a passionista project since Shaping Youth’s inception. 

There are multiple ways to put media on a different frequency and change the channel for good…not the least of which is crowdsourcing new platforms and methods to pay it forward.

We’d like to hear from youth, parents, schools, clubs and enrichment groups to share what’s working and what’s not in order to shift the track on a run away train to positive, productive pursuits…

Wanna help? First, a few common FAQs:

Q: Are you a 501c3 nonprofit?

A: We were, and we have let it lapse as we shift to social enterprise using partner orgs as fiscal sponsors to ease up on the paper shuffle. We may choose to try to ‘revive’ it while transitioning, but the nonprofit/board/grant layers and logistics are too cumbersome for a “let’s make this happen now” mindset.

Q: Didn’t you just switch hats to the other side of the fence? From producing media to becoming media?

A: No, this is not a Bogusky industry shift to a prosocial lens, as I’ve always had a consumer advocacy focus. Also, I was never a ‘big ad agency shop’ but instead a small, indie “brain for hire,” who happens to have a journalism and writing background in addition to the branding. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on all sides of the media and marketing industry, cherry-picking projects that appeal, by running my own firm Copy/Concepts. This enabled me to opt which clients to work with and assess the integrity on multiple levels to see which businesses would pass muster. (For example, I once resigned a big cruiseline account after finding out they were dumping waste in the ocean) I see that same highly vetted, corporate social responsibility and due diligence as being necessary to find the right underwriters and allies doing good things for children in the media arena. It requires a considerable amount of lifting carpets and dusting thoroughly. Know of a good fit?

Q: How can I intern with Shaping Youth? Do you have any openings? How do I apply?

A: I strongly feel there should be youth empowerment and a “value add” to contributing in core areas of expertise that are the right fit. With that in mind, to reduce learning curves vs training time, here’s a survey of some of the areas where we’ve deployed teens eager to get involved for community service credit, or paid consulting depending on experience level.  See if any interest you, by rating areas of your online expertise in a 1-5 scale, and emailing it in.

Grad students/doctoral candidates, researchers and public health pros, please contact me directly for your special interest areas in the children’s sphere. Your expertise is invaluable!

Shaping Youth Intern Survey

Please rank your familiarity on a 1-5 scale with 1 being “unfamiliar” and 5 being “I could do this job blindfolded dancing backwards at lightening speed.”

Mobile/web/gaming gurus:

Avatar Creation 12345
Exploring/conversing/platform testing in-world 12345
MMORPG fluency 12345
Undercover CIA: Cyber Info Advocates (test age verifications, safety holes/hacks) 12345

Advergaming Recon: Spot the spin, assess branded content, product placement web and mobile 12345

Virtual Worlds/Gaming Recon: List specific Virtual Worlds you’re inside of already and your favorite games &/or familiarity w/the platform(s)______________________

Creating Media/Video/Editing:

Create ‘on the street’ interviews & Q&A on a given topic: 12345
Podcasting: 12345
PSA/audio youth voices for radio: 12345
Animotos: 12345

Youth host: :60 video recaps from a youth editorial lens 12345

Youth reporter: Cover events, guest academics, book tours, digital youth & other relevant material 12345

Events coordination: Place calendar listings for parent/youth education such as free screenings, blog book tours, film fests, 12345

Site Specific

WordPress 12345 (Genesis/Child’s Theme familiarity?) 12345 (Gimp/Photo resizing tool?) 12345

Analytics/Monitoring/SEO/data optimization: 12345

Edits, optimization of widgets for usability 12345

Role Models/Inspiring Minds:

Source and tap the best and the brightest virtual visionaries; people doing great work out there that needs a spotlight turned on bright; from youth wunderkind and STEM entrepreneurs to “People Shaping Youth” (e.g. think Teens in Tech, DoSomething.org, GameChangers, digital uses for positive good, etc.) 12345

Biz Dev/Startup Skill Sets:

Evaluate viable partners: Angel investors, underwriters, foundations, sponsors from prequalified data (e.g. look under the rug, lift the veils, follow the fiscal funding $ for integrity checks and “goodwashing”) 12345

Database Researching: Source viable grants, citizen journalism projects, health/youth foundation deadlines 12345

My strongest contribution to Shaping Youth would be…


I have absolutely no interest in…


I spend most of my media time…


My expertise isn’t even on this list! What I’d really like to help with is…



Visual Credit: Special thanks to Eileen Clegg of Visual Insight.net for creating this mural which we use for crowd-sourcing ideas using removable post-its regularly!