Join the next generation of civic leaders for equity.

CrisTasha D., 2018 Design to Better [Our Community] Summer Academy, graduating with Creative Reaction Lab staff.

In Creative Reaction Lab’s Design to Better [Our Community] programs, Black and Latinx local high school students interested in entrepreneurship, creativity, community development, and design gain hands-on experience in making change in their community and fighting for racial justice through design.

Through the intensive program, participants will explore Black and Latinx history; current events and racial and economic disparities that have an impact on their daily lives; and the power of community engagement. Participants will then collaborate with local residents to come up with ideas to address an issue in the community and work toward developing and implementing their interventions.

Ted J. Gatlin Jr.
Program Manager


Are you or do you have a St. Louis High School student who would be interested in being an Equity Designer and Civic Leader in their city?

Program Dates: June 10 - July 18, 2019

Student participants will be provided the following opportunities throughout the Design to Better [Our Community] Summer Academy:

  • Growing network and mentorship. In addition to connecting with young leaders across your city, meet local and national leaders working in design, business, community organizing, government, entrepreneurship, and more.

  • Immersive field trips. Explore communities and landmarks within your city (AND outside of your state) with local and regional field trips.

  • Funding for your idea. Student teams (developed in the program) will receive funding to bring the first version of their idea to life.

  • Small, but important things. Food and transportation support provided.

  • Post-program love. Once you graduate from Creative Reaction Lab, the love doesn’t end. Students will receive invitations to local, regional, and national opportunities. Need a letter a recommendation? Just ask. Or, just want to talk? We’re open to that as well. You’re family.

  • Monetary Stipend. Every participant after the conclusion of their final presentation and subsequent graduation from the Summer Academy will receive a stipend from CRXLAB.

Check out our videos from Design to Better [Our Community] Summer Academy's 2018 cohort.


Keylen, CrisTasha, Keaveona and Diego from Our Design to Better [Our Community] Summer Academy created a short film to highlight the mental health inequities that teens deal with in school.

Confident Minds Radio is a prototype designed by Clifton and Trinity during Creative Reaction Lab's first cohort of the Design to Better [Our Community] Summer Academy in St. Louis, MO.