Helping a record number of nonprofits with a record number of students, Media Sandbox Street Teams are determined to make a difference in the Greater Lansing Community.
Every Media Sandbox Street Team is matched with a local nonprofit and have the fall and spring semester to come up with a series of creative projects to help their nonprofit organization. Each team is comprised of 5-7 students that each bring something different to the table to volunteer their time.
“Students generally hang out with others who share the same major and media focus, but collaboration is the way the professional world spins. Mixing students with different abilities and interests to solve real-world challenges is a great learning opportunity for them,” said Karl Gude, Media Sandbox Director.
This year’s Street Teams are Vermillion, Seafoam, Slate, Sunrise, Turquoise and Thistle. They are partnered with the following nonprofits: Capital Area Humane Society, REACH, All of the Above Hip-Hop Academy, End Violent Encounters (EVE), Lansing Symphony Orchestra and Tri-Cycle Bicycle Association, respectively.
New Year, New Records
Working hard behind the scenes, JeanaDee Allen, Project Manager of Media Sandbox, and Jon Whiting, Faculty Advisor, organized the largest number of students Media Sandbox Street Teams has ever seen. Last year, they narrowed down 30 applications to be on Street Teams to 18 students. This year, they narrowed down 74 applicants to 36 students. In addition, they added two teams to the four from last year to end up with a total of six teams.
“This year is great because we developed even further from where we were prior,” said Whiting. “Each year has become more robust with the support from MSUFCU. We’ve really been able to expand the program to reach more students and nonprofits in the community.”
In addition to increasing the number of students, Allen and Whiting increased the number of nonprofits. In the previous years, Street Teams had to reach out to nonprofits, but this year nonprofits are reaching out to Street Teams.
“We’ve built that positive reputation,” said Allen. “It means we’ve done work for nonprofits that is getting noticed and talked about.”
Bringing Classroom Skills to the Real World
One of the unique parts of Media Sandbox Street Teams is that it allows students to go above and beyond classes for a bigger cause.
“It means being part of something that is greater than just what we do here. Greater than me just going to school to learn advertising, but actually using that in the community and seeing how that can be so impactful to a group of people,” said Maia Barber, Advertising senior and producer of the Sunrise team.
In addition to being a place to showcase student’s skills to help the community, Street Teams bring students together that normally wouldn’t cross paths. This is best explained by Biochemistry and Media & Information major Taishu Wang, producer of Team Turquoise.
“It’s one thing to finish our task, but we get along well with our team members. It’s a treasure for us. I think we are good friends and know each other very well after working together half a year,” said Wang. “Street teams treat us as family, so we work as family.”
Meet the Street Teams