by Jessica Cordero, Job Developer; and Janice Castro, Job Coach
Our partnerships in Montgomery County help us ensure the youth in our programs make a successful transition to young adulthood. One of those partners is Shala W. Graham and her design firm SW Creatives, LLC. Since 2013, we’ve worked with Shala and SW Creatives to enhance our job training and internship program. Shala has served as a guest speaker and mentor, and has hosted youth for media internships at SW Creatives. She is a regular at our annual Youth Connect Networking Breakfast where summer interns network with professionals. Most recently, Shala created an entrepreneurship training series in direct response to youth who expressed an interest in franchising, starting a business, and building a brand.
During the eight-week entrepreneurship training, Shala teaches youth the basics of business management, market research, and developing a brand. The series culminates with the youth pitching their business ideas. For one youth, the training helped him research and subsequently meet the requirements of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and he obtained his Barber Apprentice License to continue to pursue his business dream!
“Shala Graham and SW Creatives have been amazing partners in supporting our training, certification, and internship efforts over several years. We are so grateful for Shala and SW Creatives’ support of our youth and young adults in Montgomery County,” said Jacob Newman, Managing Director of Montgomery County.
From my first partnership engagement with MMYC, I knew that the organization was making a critical and beautiful impact on our young community. Continuing to partner with them allows SW Creatives to be a part of the change as we work on the ground with MMYC to create positive outcomes in the lives of our youth.” Shala W. Graham, Principal & Creative Director, SW Creatives, LLC
Part of SW Creatives’ vison is to help nonprofit organizations reach their branding and design goals. Through excellence, honesty, and compassion, the team at SW Creatives is able to not only serve nonprofit organizations, but serve the local community and children across the world through their support of international organizations. With Creative Colony, SW Creatives is able to provide a community space for co-working and collaboration in the Silver Spring area.
We cannot thank Shala Graham and SW Creatives enough for all the support throughout the years. Her ability to connect with youth and help them manifest their ideas into actionable steps is what helps keep the momentum towards their dreams. Thank you Shala for all that you do!