We “Say Yes” to Opportunity and Inclusion
Ten years ago, my partner Dan and I founded 19 Ideas to make a meaningful difference in our community through the impact of marketing and communications. As our agency continues to evolve, we remain guided by founding principles that got us started – collaboration, opportunity, growth, unity. As such, we aspire to work with partners who also champion these fundamental ideals – and whose missions advance all people in our community.
For all of these reasons, I am deeply proud to announce a new fellowship program 19 Ideas has created with Say Yes Buffalo that will provide one Say Yes Buffalo scholar studying marketing and communications each year with an immersive, 12-month paid part-time position working with our company to gain substantial experience and to grow their networks before they leave college.
This year-long, annual fellowship program is our response to addressing racial inequity and injustice in our community with tangible, ongoing action within marketing and communications workforce development. Together, we are working to create a program where scholars of all backgrounds, color, and community-standing have access to career opportunity, growth and network-building.
The 19 Ideas fellowship program will provide an engaging, hands-on learning environment for scholars, who will spend 12 months learning the different facets of the marketing and communications industry within an agency setting. The position connects with all departments within 19 Ideas where the individual will learn about, and assist in, multiple tactical areas of marketing and communications, as well as have direct experience with the agency’s clients, which span numerous industries, such as healthcare, nonprofits, higher education, and financial services. In addition to this being a paid part-time position, 19 Ideas has also committed $11,000 over 5 years which will cover the costs of books and incidentals for our fellows. What’s more, as this fellowship will be an ongoing program, year-over-year the 19 Ideas fellowship alumni group will allow 19 Ideas to further engage and create opportunities to stay connected to our fellows throughout their career journey. That includes future job opportunities at 19 Ideas, as well as connecting our fellows to our contacts and industry peers in the marketing and communications industry in Western New York and beyond.
Simply stated, we could not be more excited at the numerous ways in which this fellowship program will provide opportunity for Say Yes scholars, for 19 Ideas to work with aspiring talent in our industry, and for our community to have a workforce development funnel within the marketing and communications field. And, we could not ask for a better partner than Say Yes Buffalo, whose commitment to community collaboration has opened doors to education opportunities for our city’s public school students. It has also increased graduation rates for high school and postsecondary students. Their work is remarkable, and their success speaks for itself.
Working together, our initiative defines what it means to grow as a community here in Buffalo. It is a chance to help remove barriers for racial justice and equity, as well as create an opportunity to make a difference in providing equal access for young minds, so that they can contribute as peers, creators and change agents to help shape how we communicate.
Speaking more directly – the marketing and advertising community must provide opportunities at all levels for people of color. Not having this representation is inappropriate and cannot endure. Those of us in leadership positions have the responsibility to change this landscape for today’s generation and for future generations. For 19 Ideas and Say Yes, our new work begins today.
The application period is now open for the 19 Ideas fellowship program. We invite you to stay connected on social media and share this opportunity with those who may be interested.