Touchstone Honoree: Outside the Box sparks curiosity and creativity for area youth

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Sometimes you heard the phrase, think outside the box.

Well, two women created a program called Outside the Box, to get kids to think creatively.

Tiersa Wodash and Rachel Wagner are design professionals in Duluth. They wanted to bring their passion to young people, and also encourage more diversity in the design world.

Wodash said, “It was important to us to spark curiosity, learning through experimentation, hands-on building, and even failure.”

A grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation helped them create the program.

Based on stakeholder input, they brought Outside the Box out to the youth in the Lincoln Park and Hillside neighborhoods.

Kids made play-doh, created paper mache, built toolboxes, and even made a video about solar power.

Patience Thompson, who is part of the youth programming at AICHO, was a big part of that solar power video.

The 8th grader in Cloquet shared this about the program. “It really got me out there in the community. It helped me with social activism. It helped me speak out more, and understand how my art can be recognized. And how I can work with other youth members to make things better.”

And it helped the founders as well. Wodash told us, “It was empowering and inspiring to me. Getting introduced to the kids who have so much spunk and spark, it helps bring that excitement back out in my career. You know, you get busy adulting.”

The program has been adopted by the Duluth Folk School, which continues that original mission of creative, hands-on skill building that is free for area youth.

The Touchstone Celebration is coming up on November 10th at 6:30pm, right here on WDIO.