Design Serves (2011)

Design Serves (D*serve) teaches design-thinking, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement to K-12 youth. We commit to equipping adolescents with the tools and experiences to nurture their development as creative change makers who will impact socio-economic development within their communities.

The idea for D*Serve was sparked in December 2010 by designer, De Andrea Nichols, during a visit to her childhood hometown of Cleveland, MS. A personal tour of the town revealed great stillness in development since her time there as a youth, and this sparked a service-for-story exchange that helped local youth serve older adults.

Design Serves was then crowdfunded via Kickstarter June 1, 2011, which allowed Nichols to work with as a Project M Lab designer in Greensboro, AL, and redevelop community spaces after a series of tornadoes leveled parts of Hale County.  From this experience, COMMON Hoops was launched, which now operates in Chicago, IL.

In 2013, Design Serves was awarded and slated as a featured Commitment to Action by the Clinton Global Initiative University. With support from the Sodexo Foundation and Youth Service America, it executed its first large project in St. Louis, MO, during the 2013 Global Youth Service Day.

With additional funding by the Gephardt Institute for Public Service, Design Serves launched its first D*Serve youth venture September 2013 with the community of Pagedale, MO.