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Building bright futures through hands-on experiences.

OPDC Future Makers

location_on Pittsburgh, United States
Through OPDC's Future Makers program, students become confident in public speaking, clear and articulate in interviews, earn certifications to boost their skill sets, write top-notch resumes, and create plans for their future.
The best way to learn is with your own two hands.

HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created on February 14th, 2019
Key figures

Innovation Overview

13 - 18
Age Group
Updated on September 17th, 2021
about the innovation

Build a Bright Future

Founded in January 2018, Future Makers provides hands-on enrichment activities that motivate and inspire youth to explore college and career opportunities. Youth are able to experience and develop new skills, connect with area programs, meet professionals, and expand their college and career options.

Maker days occur on Saturday mornings,  two hours in length, twice monthly. At each maker day, youth work directly with industry professionals to learn about 21st-century careers. Each maker day features the career track component  that outline a career path and academic steps to achieve success, and hands on enrichment activities to give youth exposure in the field.


See this innovation in action

Our Future Makers students are proud to represent our program at School 2 Career's annual College and Career Fair!
Our students participate in awesome workshops, and we want to make sure they know how to tell the world about them! In our Resume and Interview Workshop, we help our kids organize their skills and experience into a professional resume and teach them how to ace their summer interviews.
Future Makers isn't just about reinforcing and building upon academic concepts; we want to make sure that we are exposing students to a wide variety of professions, including those often seen as non-traditional. In our Future Artists workshop, students learn the basics of painting and sculpture as well as the various ways to make the Arts into a lifelong career.
Future Makers is dedicated to providing hands-on activities that engage participants in constructivist learning, like our Engineering Concepts workshop with ALCOSAN.
Our Techno Teens workshop, facilitated by the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, is a surefire hit!
At least once per year, we invite all of our workshop providers to a special event designed to showcase all of the wonderful community partners who work together to make Future Makers a reality. Not only do we want to express our gratitude to these wonderful people, but we also want to get out the word about other free enrichment activities happening throughout the city of Pittsburgh.
Science and creativity came together stunningly in our "Shaping Futures" workshop with Monica and Dajah from Salon XO. Our students explored the various responsibilities and skills associated with cosmetology and hair care through group discussions, theory, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. After beginning with some cosmetological theory, such as hair porosity and skin types, participants learned various braiding and styling techniques, practiced dyeing and coloring hair samples, and created their own hair care products using natural moisturizers and essential oils.
In our "Drop the Mic" workshop, presented Trust Arts Education, participants explored various roles within the film industry, including storyboard creator, director, photographer, and on-screen personality. By taking on various roles and creating their own short films, they developed problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills, all while cultivating their creativity and willingness to take risks.


Achievements & Awards

May 2019
February 2019
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Identify target population
Determine where and with whom your program will take place.
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Find a space
Find a space that can host two different workshops occurring simultaneously. This may be a space that your organization owns, or it may be a local YMCA or community center with a space for rent.
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Secure staff
Identify and hire/train staff. For a cadre of 20-30 students, you will need at a minimum of two full-time staff members, depending on the size of your program, who exhibit the professionalism, dedication, and patience to work with at-risk youth.
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Connect with providers
Now, you have to find some workshops to offer! It's time to hit the road (or phone) and reach out to community members.
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Develop a schedule
Time to get things in order!
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Get out the word!
Let people know about your program! Email blasts, social media posts, and word-of-mouth are your friends.
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