The bi-annual Design Ignites Change Implementation Awards recognizes and supports exceptional proposals to engage youth in design projects that fuel social change. The 2009 winners have just been announced, with the grand prize going to PieLab's Pecans! (pictured above), a growing pecan product enterprise led by low-income youth in Hale County, Alabama. Participants, all between the ages of 16 and 24, are led by recent design school graduates in fully developing the business, to be expanded with the help of this grant:
The $12,000 award serves as the capital to get the business off the ground, in turn providing the youth a chance to expand their skill sets: everything from perfecting the best pecan brittle recipe, to developing a brand identity and market strategy, all while completing their high school diplomas or GEDs.
Second and third place prizes were both awarded to programs at the Kansas City Art Institute: A Book by its Cover: Reading Stereotypes (pictured below) and Freewall: Making Space for Diversity, respectively. A Book by its Cover aims to uproot racism through a book creation and exchange program between the Islamic School of Greater Kansas City and Garfield Elementary. Freewall will repurpose an empty wallspace at Center Alternative School into a personal expression of the student body, through the accumulation of stickers, marked by students with drawings of the things they love.
Design Ignites Change is a collaboration between Adobe Youth Voices and Worldstudio. Visit their blog for more information about the program, the winners and honorable mentions. Better yet, get ready to enter the 2010 cycle of the Awards; the deadline is June 31st.
More pictures of the top three winners after the jump.