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design education

Education as Economic Development

The third largest job producer in the state of Arkansas is the Creative Economy. However, rural populations have an extremely hard time when it comes to recruiting and keeping its art and design teachers not to mention creative individuals in general. What that means for communities like Helena, Arkansas is that our students have less access to a knowledge base that at the very least can provide food on the table, and take them to college to build a career.

We believe that youth can make a great impact on the revitalization of our city. Since launching our Design Mentorship Program in 2015, we have learned that we can achieve our mission by equipping youth with the tools necessary to improve their community. Our program serves the needs of our youth today while also laying the groundwork to stop rural population loss—perhaps even reverse it.

It’s a simple solution:
Teach our students to utilize the design process as a way to tackle community challenges with the goal of making a positive, lasting impact.

Provide our students with access to the latest technologies, helping them access wider-ranging opportunities when it comes to college and career pathways.

Lead our students through mentorship, encouraging personal as well as academic growth.


design mentors

Thrive’s Design Mentors assist students of Central High School in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. Plugging into EAST classrooms and Art Classrooms Thrive's residents work alongside students in and out of the classroom to provide extra personal attention and creative industry expertise as teams work to design solutions to community challenges.

If you are interested in becoming one of design mentors, check out the job page!


design apprenticeship

 The Helena Adventure Company (HAC) exists to let the world know about the incredible outdoor opportunities that exist in Helena, Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta on the Mississippi River. Helena, perched on the geographic anomaly of Crowley's Ridge, offers every type of outdoor adventure from hiking, boating, and swimming to music festivals and amazing food.

To increase quality of life for local families and to generate revenue from visitors, the HAC designs t-shirts & stickers to promote Helena, Arkansas as a nature and adventure tourism destination.

20 students from area schools will collaborate to work with the Graphic Designers at Thrive for 11 weeks as they work through the design process of producing and selling merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, posters, and hats. Technologies learned and skills developed throughout the process will include photography, web design, graphic design, social media management, soft skills, professionalism, business basics, and project management.

to apply to be part of our design apprenticeship, click below!


design after school

Working in conjunction with Warfield concerts and the HWH Advertising & Promotion Commission, Thrive began the Design After School workshops in Fall 2018 with 14 area students from KIPP Delta and Helena-West Helena, along with multiple home school students.

Each year, the Warfield Concert Committee hosts multiple free performances featuring world class entertainers. Our team of designers and students will design and fabricate visual aids that will be installed in the lobby of the PCCUA Fine Arts Center during each show. These props will help the market visibility of Warfield Concerts within the community as well as improve the experience for concertgoers.  

If you are a student and want to be part of our after school workshops, click below to learn more and submit your information!

If you are interested in learning more about what we have to offers schools, or have any questions, let us know!