Foundation for Academic Excellence

I grew up in the small town of Ashburnham in North Central Massachusetts. I made my way through the school system there—like every other kid in town—and eventually went off to college and further, discovered my career in graphic design. Many years later I had the opportunity to give back to my hometown in a unique and rather unexpected way.  

The Ashburnham School Committee, in conjunction with Westminster, our neighboring town with whom we shared Oakmont Regional High School—where my academic journey took place—came together to form a foundation to help and reward students and teachers from both towns. Its mission is to provide small grants to teachers wanting to supplement their curriculum and provide deserving students with such things as specialized resources to increase their education experience or college scholarships upon graduation. The foundation is funded through the donations of parents, teachers, and local area businesses with community interests to help offset the budget cuts both school systems faced yearly. 

The Foundation needed an identity and branding. I donated my time to this project and created a range of material from logo design to print collateral, a new web site to help them promote their cause and solicit donations, and promotional material for their first fundraising event hosted at the Fitchburg Art Museum. The overall effort raised nearly $40,000 that evening and set the Foundation up for success. Since, the Foundation has awarded several scholarships and granted wish list items for many of the teachers in need of enriching their classroom teaching.

This pro bono assignment in turn gave back to me. It allowed me to revisit my younger days, to reminisce over my own elementary and high school experience, to remember the teachers who left an indelible impression on me that helped shape my mind and ideas. Doing this project enabled me to in turn, say “thanks” to those teachers and—in a very indirect way—help my hometown do good by a new generation of students.

Roles: Art direction, identity, design, production