BIC Tackles Teen Anxiety on Behalf of the UJA-Federation

12/18/2016 Unknown 0 Comments

It was a challenging goal: to reduce isolation for the Jewish teen community when it comes to issues of mental health. But by joining forces with the UJA-Federation of New York as well as the Jewish Board and 70 Faces Media, BICsters in the Fall 2016 non-profit capstone rose to the challenge.

On Thursday, December 15th, three teams presented strategically driven campaigns that leveraged traditional, online, social, mobile, and other digital communications vehicles to meet the target audience where they live. Each campaign sought to create a movement in which teens could become active participants, content creators, and advocates. Anchored in a "big idea," teams demonstrated how their campaigns would roll out with a timeline of tactical elements for a yearlong plan. Professor Douglas Davis oversaw their efforts.

Throughout the semester, BICsters were aided in this task by members of the Jewish community, BIC faculty as well as BIC alums. Our main client contact, Pam Schuller, Program Coordinator of Teen and Mental Health Initiative, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, provided guidance all semester long. She was joined by Jonathan Katz, Elise Slobodin, and Linda Gross for the December 15th client pitch. All four judged the pitches to determine which campaign best met their needs.

Each team developed distinctive approaches, from managing the mental stress that's hiding in plain sight ("The Invisible Truth") to resisting the false narratives of social media ("There's More"). The winning team, Mosaic, uncovered research indicating that teens were more likely to express their hidden feelings when engaged in artistic activity. Their #DareTo Express campaign gave teens, parents and the Jewish community at large a platform to disarm and unlock teen emotions through creativity.
Members of the winning team Mosaic
Special thanks to Mirm Kriegel, Executive Director, Brand Strategy at the UJA-Federation of New York for connecting with BIC Professor and Y&R EVP Belle Frank last spring to make this project a reality. Past non-profit capstone clients have been Columbia Children's Health and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.