SNIPES wants to make shoe design more accessible and inclusive for young people in underserved communities. That’s what prompted the sneaker and streetwear retailer to launch the SNIPES Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab in Atlanta, GA.
For the occasion, the brand has partnered with STE(A)M Truck, a mobile innovation laboratory, to help develop an 8-week program for budding designers. This is the first initiative under the SNIPES Young Geniuses program.
“At SNIPES, it’s important that we leave a positive impact on our communities,” said Jim Bojko, president of SNIPES USA, according to a press release. “We see a huge opportunity in developing more STEM leaders and creators who come from our neighborhoods.”
The program was designed to teach students about design, the sneaker industry, and engineering. They create sneaker prototypes, learn how shoes are made, and learn about 3D printing and computer design. “It will teach them new critical thinking skills and a positive mindset that they can adopt in any profession,” Bojko added.
About 150 students are currently participating in the program, reports CBS. “I really enjoyed being able to experience something new like this because I never learned anything about the anatomy of the shoe,” said Ariyana Hardaway-Dixon, a 10th grader in the program.
The goal of the program is to promote equity for Atlanta-based students and give them the tools they need to succeed.
“While Atlanta is an incredible city with many strengths, it is also home to the nation’s largest wealth gap and persistent inequality. In Atlanta, if someone is born into poverty, they have a 4% chance of moving up to a higher income level,” said Marsha E. Francis, Ph.D., executive director of STE(A)M Truck , according to a press release.
“Metro Atlanta students deserve the opportunity to compete for many life-changing, wealth-creating STEM jobs and Young Genius Innovation Lab is a step in the right direction by providing relevant, dynamic and ready-to-go experiences. industry to engage and immerse students in a real – global issue,” she added.
About Kyra: Kyra Alessandrini is a news writer at Girls United and a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in publications such as Time, The Hollywood Reporter, InStyle and Elle. Born in New York and raised in Paris, France, she is passionate about culture, street photography and travel.