The MSUFCU Media Street Closing Event brought together four teams of students to present two semester’s worth of volunteer creative work to their partner nonprofits. Guided by Jeana-Dee Allen, project manager of Media Sandbox, and faculty advisor Jon Whiting, each team created a ten-minute presentation of their team’s creative solutions, which included videos, graphics and social media strategy.
“The best part of the closing event was seeing all of the different parties coming together, the nonprofits, the students, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union folks and visiting faculty and administrators from our college,” said Karl Gude, Media Sandbox director. “It was a very emotional experience for me to see the students so proud of their work and to be able to show it off to so many people who were committed to their success.”
Giving Back to the Community
During the 2017-2018 school year, students on the Media Sandbox Street Teams contributed nearly 1,200 volunteer hours to nonprofits in the Greater Lansing area including ITEC, Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, The Firecracker Foundation and Clinton-Gratiot Habitat for Humanity, which was partnered with Team Lime, Red, Cyan and Violet, respectively.
“Each team was so dedicated to making the best project for their nonprofit partner,” said Allen. “They listened to their concerns and challenges and did the best they could to find a solution that is both creative and builds upon their professional skills.”
One of the unique opportunities of being on a Media Sandbox Street Team is how students get hands-on experience while giving back to the community. From creating social media graphics to filming videos to revamping promotional materials, Street Teams worked collectively to meet the communication challenges presented.
“There are times I feel like Street Teams was designed specifically for me in mind,” said Media and Information junior Jonathan Lantz, videographer of the Lime Team. “As someone who grew up in the community and has worked with nonprofits, it’s always been a passion of mine to help out.”
More Than a Team
Working up to the event, each Street Team poured time and energy into their projects to create the best deliverables possible. As a faculty advisor, Whiting was able to watch as students grew over the two semesters.
“Everyone came in with really good skill sets already, but as the year went on I continued to be impressed at how they kept upping their game,” said Whiting. “Each member of the team was working on things that weren’t originally their expertise and weren’t hesitating to ask for advice or giving advice. More than anything, I saw that the teams grew very well to work together.”
Throughout the closing event, Street Teams delivered speeches on their projects talking about their projects and the relationships they've built, both with their teammates and their nonprofit partners.
“Those presentations about their team, their comradery, their friendship or sense of community were more significant than I expected. I saw the teams hanging out with each other or projects or working, but I didn’t realize how intensely everyone had become friends and learned through the process,” said JeanaDee. “That was very touching that everyone really cared about each other.”
Want to join a Street Team next year? Email Karl Gude at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sierra Richards