Exalt Youth demonstrates the power of effective educational engagement as a viable alternative to criminal justice involvement for today’s young people living in New York. Their model is not just about avoiding jail. It is about re-engaging young people in their love for learning and in helping them understand the urgency of taking action to reverse their journey along the school-to-prison pipeline.

Researching, designing, testing, and iterating on improvements made for a stronger connection between Exalt and providers. This ultimately lead to greater success of their program and increased recruitment rates.

Our output became a new description of the internship process. This time we provided more detail on the process. The goal, this time, was to address potential providers, rather than general information. Previous typefaces, colors, and layout were kept to stay true to the brand. We used a mix of photos and videos as a way to let media paint a picture of the experience from an interns point of view. Quotes and details about each intern provided supporting content to address users need for more personal and real connection.

Reminding ourselves that potential providers were our target user, we made a custom portal just for them. We used information from interviews to make sure it was clear and easy to understand. Using visual design aesthetics and interactive systems we showcased individual profiles of interns along with a video that follows an intern from the beginning of their experience to graduation. The objective was to provide details on the relationship between Exalt and providers while also telling a story that explains how partnering with Exalt could change the life of a young person in a positive way- something interviewees stressed mattered the most. The portal contains several buttons that provide opportunities to directly connect with an internship coordinator.

Focusing on the provider experience, we wanted to make hosting an intern as effortless and enjoyable as possible. We knew making the portal as powerful as possible would be essential to ensuring that hosting an intern would be an experience that providers wanted to continue doing over and over again. This was achieved via a portal that let providers communicate and collaborate with Exalt staff. Keeping track of interns progress, checking on their grades, uploading necessary documents, and future progress could all be viewed at any time by both Exalt staff and providers. This proved to be a solution that helped both providers and Exalt as it made the organization stronger and motivated providers to remain involved for years to come.


Poppy Chen