Three New ANY Makers Make Their Mark

The text "ANY America Needs You" surrounded by two arcs that form a circle, all in white. In the background, a hazy gradient of red, blue, and orange highlights the white text in the center.
ANY is a mentorship organization that fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development.

We aren’t just workers or presenters of work. On a much deeper level, we identify as makers. This summer, we added a couple more to our ranks.

We throw the word maker around a lot as a catch-all for the strategy, writing, research, design, development, and collaboration we do every day. Maybe, more importantly, the idea of being a maker is also our calling—a philosophical approach to what we do.

The process of learning drives us makers. And figuring out what we don’t know and filling the gaps is where the opportunity lies. Every finished site, piece of writing, line of code, a unique brand story—they’re all markers of the work it took to get there and what we learned along the way.

Hosting three fellows from America Needs You (ANY) in a five-week remote internship felt like a great opportunity to help young makers in training.

(Top, from left to right) Leslie Perez, Marcus Bounds, Jr., Bianca Smith, Colleen Carroll. (Bottom, from left to right) Alyssa Low, Sabrina Hart, Nora Dyer.

All learning is valuable

Each fellow approached ODC with a career path they were interested in, specifically branding, design, and writing. They were matched with mentors who could help them explore these areas of focus. But instead of just presuming to know each fellow’s goal for the internship, we started by asking a simple question:

What would you like to learn?

“The task of coming up with my own Micro-conversation questions was my favorite activity and my favorite challenge—and it also revealed to me I still have so much to learn as a reporter and more specifically as a storyteller.”

Sabrina Hart, ANY Fellow

Our fellows were makers in the making. Partnering with them in the learning process ended up being the most rewarding part of the journey.

Giving them control over their course of study allowed us to guide them and learn from them in equal measure. It validated our process and theirs. It helped shine a light on what we as mentors do well and what we need to work on, what they as fellows do well, and how they could flex their skill.

“I got to see communication between graphic designers and clients first-hand—how design for a project may not only take one shot; it may take many tries and many attempts and re-dos.”

Marcus Bounds Jr., ANY Fellow

The agency they found through this process enabled them to have control over how they could use what they were learning in the next step of their journey.

Five weeks later, all of the ODC mentors would agree we learned as much from the experience as the fellows did.

“I’m most excited about learning to push my personality forward and bringing my knowledge of branding with me in future endeavors.”

Leslie Perez, ANY Fellow

From observing client calls to exploring the tools we use, tailoring work to a particular client to practicing the basics of what we as makers do every day, they thrived and blew us all away with their talent, humor, and growth in a short amount of time.

Welcome makers.

We can’t wait to see what you do next.

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One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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