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Youth Leadership
Design Jam

Youth-led teams develop skills in social entrepreneurship and leadership to address pressing challenges observed and experienced in their communities.

Youth-led teams (4-6 members)

Adult support partners (1-2)


6 two-hour immersive workshops

Team-directed field work

Final Show and Share (exhibition)

Total Duration

3-4 months

Original Sponsor

The Skillman Foundation

What this course is
HFLI’s Youth Leadership Design Jam will provide a structured, facilitated approach for co-generational teams to address a pressing challenge they see or experience in their community, collaboratively developing actionable solutions they can implement upon conclusion.
Throughout this experience, you will:

  • Gain exposure to new tools and strategies for exploring and addressing complex challenges.
  • Grow personal skills and confidence to work as an effective member of a team and as a leader - communication, project management, critical thinking, building consensus, and creative problem solving.
  • Draw on their individual strengths and voices to collaborate and develop their team’s solution idea.
Our team


Deborah Parizek
Executive Director
Deborah Parizek drives HFLI’s efforts to provide workshops, programs and site coaching that pair effective education and human-centered design approaches, empowering learners to lead transformational change in, with and for their community. She is known for cultivating the conversations, empathy, and capacity critical to addressing complex challenges. Prior to joining HFLI in 2005, Deborah designed and directed extensive teacher leadership development programs for multiple school systems.
Theodore Kozerski
Learning Experience Designer
Theodore Kozerski guides the strategic growth of HFLI’s learning programs, while developing unique resources and experiences that help learners to think creatively, work collaboratively with others, and implement innovations. He brings a unique perspective to the role that blends a passion for socio-cultural anthropology, formal study and application of human-centered-design methods, experience as an entrepreneur, and a lens for inclusion and access. Theodore earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology from Wayne State University and identifies as a committed lifelong learner.
Gary Tubbs
Design Fellow
Gary Tubbs joined HFLI in mid-August as our newest Design Fellow. In this role, Gary works closely with the programs team to acquire design thinking mindsets, skills, knowledge, and tools, especially as they apply to innovative use in social innovation, K-20 and youth programming. Over time, Gary will bring his education and experience in the design field to bear in the effective development, administration, and coordination of multiple major engagement series for HFLI.