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Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) is a community-based nonprofit organization whose goal is to close the opportunity gap by preparing youth for post-secondary and lifelong success. They provide academic, social, and emotional support to 1,600 youth and their families each year, ensuring every young person has the opportunity to succeed.
All of Y.O.U.’s services are relationship-based and free for youth and their families. During Y.O.U.’s 2016-17 program year,
Y.O.U.’s recently constructed youth center and headquarters contain state-of-the-art program spaces for the youth they serve, as well as collaborative office-space for 60+ staff members. The building serves as a central hub for out-of-school time programs, clinical and outreach services, and family engagement services.
When Aina Gutierrez, Chief Operations Officer and Kelli-Ann Alcott, Operations Manager were looking for a partner to produce graphics for the new youth center, they knew Cushing would be the right fit for their environmental graphics branding project.
“Cushing was recommended by a number of people who’ve used them before, and Aina had worked with them before. Our project manager for the building also worked with Cushing in the past and had a great experience.”
Since Y.O.U. has been in the new youth center for less than a year, tours of the space play a big role in welcoming neighbors, partners, and donors.
Dimensional logos are hung on the building’s exterior and greet visitors entering the space. A frosted acrylic lobby sign lists the names of Campaign for Youth Opportunity supporters, while ADA signage for all-gender bathrooms, stairwells, offices, and classrooms are incorporated throughout the space.
Continue into the space and you can’t miss colorful elevator graphics where quotes from real Y.O.U. participants have found a home.
“Staff, donors, board members, partners and youth really like the stairwell story of ‘YOU on the Rise,’ which highlights our history in the community and shares photos from our inception to now.”
Behind the building there is a patio where youth and guests can step out for some fresh air. A column covered in wooden tiles is the focal point, displaying names of Y.O.U. donors.
When Cushing visited Y.O.U. to take photos of the finished project, the team received a warm welcome from Alcott and a group of students.
There were some updates that had to be made after the installation. Interchangeable name plates hang outside of each office (some on a giant dry-erase wall!) for updates to be made quickly and easily.
Some coworkers would need to share offices, so the Cushing team adjusted the name plates to account for the shared spaces.
“Working with Erik was amazing. I love timely responses, and he even came back to fix things (that we didn’t even catch!) that were not done to his specifications. I like picky people taking care of my projects, so we’re really happy that he caught anything that was going on.”
Youth & Opportunity United’s environmental graphics installation enhances their space by putting their mission on display. They enjoy their work space.
“We and our donors are so happy. We have a lot of foot traffic in this building, and we really love the space. Erik provided great customer service and communicated all updates.”