Around three years ago, [Olivia] finding herself in a hostile living situation and needing a way to get out, she realized she didn’t really know how.

“I wasn’t sure what I could do to support myself,” Olivia tells Fast Company.

A new initiative from the Portland-based nonprofit New Avenues For Youth, which supports local at-risk kids through job training and employment opportunities, turned out to be exactly what Olivia was looking for—even if she didn’t know before that such an opportunity existed.

Called dfrntpigeon(“different pigeon”), it’s an apparel design firm run through New Avenues, in partnership with the local design agency AKQA.

Last year, dfrntpigeon launched its first collection of shirts and began to take requests from local businesses. Dani, one of the earliest members of dfrntpigeon, designed a shirt for the Portland-based Deschutes Brewery as part of Portland Design Week in July. Olivia joined dfrntpigeon in the fall, and the team has been growing ever since, in number and output: It’s offered over 200 hours of mentorship and workshop instruction to over 40 youths. Weihmann says the program has brought in $15,000 in revenue since last July, all of which goes back into the nonprofit to support programming.
Read the source article at