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Local Non-Profit Organization Now Enrolling for STEM and Arts Program

Have you ever wondered where the murals downtown and around the Baton Rouge metro area come from? The Walls Project, a local nonprofit, is a community reactivation organization stimulating Louisiana’s creative economy.
Since 2012,  the The Walls Project has generated over one million dollars in economic resurgence through it’s programs. One of these programs is called The Futures Fund.
The Futures Fund, a STEAM education and workforce development program, that trains middle and high school students for future employment. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The ten-week program occurs every spring and fall and is taught by highly trained industry professionals. ” I feel that a lot of underserved youth don’t have an outlet to express themselves or they may not have the tools needed to do so,” said Futures Fund program director, Taylor Hunter. The Futures Fund builds an environment of economic empowerment and development with the youth.

Per their website, in the Digital Arts program, students learn current computer coding languages such as CSS, HTML, Java, Ruby, and Python. In the Visual Arts program, students train with photographers to gain skills and insight that is exclusive to the program.

Exposing students to skills this early, sets them on a path to secondary education, or a career in growing industries with higher earning potential. “When a lot of students hear of coding, they think of medical coding,” said Hunter, “So just to give them the opportunity to explore these different areas of technology because a lot of students don’t know that there are a lot of job positions right now in the tech world that can be filled.”

Past participants have generated $35,000 in revenue through our program with internships and product sales and have launched their own start-up businesses in web design, photography, apparel design, and social media marketing.

The Futures Fund is committed to building sustained economic development while working towards a systemic reduction of poverty. “If we could build a nation of students in our own backyard that code and do photography, that would be amazing,” said Hunter, “We want to start bridging that gap so that people are staying here in Baton Rouge so that they would be reactivated the community and adding to the economy, by doing so.”

Currently the program is enrolling students and looking for staff. Staffing positions begin at $100 per day. Application deadline is August 20th.

*Editor’s Note: This article was updated with a correction. Taylor Hunter is the program director for Future’s Fund. Casey Phillips is the program director for the Walls Project.

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