College Dreams had come a long way since it was founded in 1998 as a substance-abuse prevention program for sixth-grade students. So far, in fact, that its name no longer reflected the scope and impact of its work.

The nonprofit now offers four distinct academic, workforce development and financial assistance programs to more than 1,300 youth aged 11-24 each year. Based in Grants Pass, Oregon, its leadership recognized that the time had come for a new name and brand—one that reflects the diverse population they serve and the diversity of those participants’ dreams.

Our discovery process

Through the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated stay-at-home order, Sheepscot’s team led a comprehensive discovery process to gain a full understanding of the organization’s history, its future and its relationship to key audiences: students and out-of-school youth, parents, funders, donors, staff, educators and alumni. The process included:

  • a kickoff workshop with organizational leadership;
  • a dozen interviews with key stakeholders;
  • an online workshop with students and alumni;
  • a staff survey;
  • a review of like-minded brands regionally and around the work; and
  • ongoing strategy calls with the leadership team.

The new name and brand

The primary logo highlights the one-to-one mentoring relationship between advisors and participants. The color treatment connects that relationship to the + reinforces the organization’s promise to increase access to opportunities for youth to thrive in school, career and life.

Project: Through their wraparound services and one-to-one mentoring model, Project Youth+ makes participants’ aspirations for school, career and life achievable. While a dream felt unattainable to many participants, a project was perceived as something they could tackle.

Youth+: Along with the organization’s expansion of services, its pool of eligible participants had grown, too, to include low-income, first-generation, and under-represented youth aged 11-24. In seeking a succinct but appropriate way to refer to program participants, we landed on the addition of “+” to do the job.

In online workshops, current participants and alumni identified with the new term as a way to describe their peer group. And—bonus—the + mark gives the organization a way to reinforce its promise to help youth reach their potential.

A secondary logo provides an option for smaller applications such as social avatars.
Pre-pandemic, we’d planned to produce a one-minute, live-action introduction to the organization. With social distancing restrictions in place and schools operating remotely, we reimagined the launch video as an animated product that serves as a playful, data-forward overview of the nonprofit and its impact on Southern Oregon communities.

Website and copywriting

Sheepscot designed, built and populated projectyouthplus.org to help the organization’s primary audiences better understand their impact.

Additionally, the new site now provides a simple portal for online giving, easy sign-up for email communication, new sections to highlight student and alumni stories, and a blog to share timely news.

The website’s copy was written to draw attention to the personal care mentors bring to their work, while the design highlights the impressive data-driven results for which the organization is recognized.

Brand guide + print collateral

A brand guide and a suite of printed materials will help Project Youth+ reintroduce itself to the community.