How can American schools help more underserved youth strive for college and unlock better futures? It’s one of the biggest challenges facing educators today. For Fossil Foundation’s partner, PeerForward, the answer lies in harnessing a special power: peer influence.
For 20+ years, PeerForward (formerly College Summit) has worked with high school students to create better outcomes for their peers in low-income neighborhoods. It has now remodeled its core program and rebranded the whole organization to put peer influence front and center.
Each year, PeerForward trains and coaches new teams of “Peer Leaders” with the potentially life-changing mission of guiding their classmates to enroll in college and helping them navigate the intimidating admissions and financial aid process. We sat down with a few Peer Leaders to understand how they are becoming change agents in their classmates’ lives thanks to the PeerForward program.
Ask any Fossil employee what PRIDE means to them and you’ll hear words like strength, inclusivity, authenticity and friendship. To us, it’s about more than just being a supportive voice—it’s about taking action! This June (Pride Month), Fossil did just that. We joined forces with our Fossil Foundation partner, Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), to elevate community conversations and national events, celebrating acceptance and inclusion.
Since 2015, the Fossil Foundation has partnered with HMI—the oldest and largest service provider in the U.S. supporting the empowerment, education and advocacy of LGBTQ youth—to provide job readiness training and arts and culture programming to 1,000 participants annually.
Discover how Fossil and HMI celebrated Pride Month together through these special #MakeTimeForGood moments.
Celebrating Inclusivity At Fossil HQ
Fossil headquarters hosted an employee community conversation, led by HMI’s Director of Advocacy and Capacity Building, Lillian Rivera. The conversation centered around social-political education and the various ways in which Fossil employees can foster acceptance and the normalization of the LGBTQ community through continued engagement and our day-to-day conversations. During the Q&A session, Rivera talked about her experiences at HMI and simple actions that we can take to support acceptance in our communities.
“We know that we have an impactful model and we want to partner with organizations that are focusing on LGBTQ youth to help expand their development.”
Click HERE to view the entire Q&A session.
The event was followed by a screening of the film Milk (2008), the story of visionary civil and human rights leader Harvey Milk, who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States in 1977.
Showing Pride in NYC
Fossil employees, alongside HMI’s youth participants, volunteered to build and decorate the organization’s float for the NYC Pride March. Colorful tie-dye and fabric painting stations were also set-up, inviting volunteers to make their own parade flags in preparation for this year’s 48th annual NYC Pride March.
Through the lens of #PrideIs, on June 24, Fossil and HMI—alongside over 100 floats—proudly marched down Fifth Avenue to take action in showing their support of LGBTQ lives and community.
Do you want to learn more about how we at Fossil ‘Make Time For Good’? Click here for more information about our community impact programs and Fossil Foundation’s support of youth across the globe.
The Lead Announces “The Defiant 25,” Explores Market Innovation In Fashion, Retail and Technology
Fossil Group’s Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Greg McKelvey, is named to “The Defiant 25″ list from The Lead organization, which recognizes the leaders, risk takers and visionaries leveraging innovative technology to transform their business.
Just a few years ago, there were few key players driving innovation within the fashion-meets-tech space. This list of talented industry leaders solidifies the idea that advancing this market is imperative to meeting the needs of modern-day consumers and will no doubt continue to flourish in new and interesting ways.Greg McKelvey
To learn more about the “Defiant 25” and explore the ways in which others, like Greg, are innovating within the retail space, visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/abinlot/2018/06/11/the-lead-announces-the-defiant-25-explores-market-innovation-in-fashion-retail-and-technology/#1ce42597f309.
Continuing their ongoing partnership, Fossil Group and the Marcus Graham Project (MGP) will host a pop-up agency that provides aspiring marketing and advertising leaders with training and mentorship to help them build careers within the industry. This summer’s agency will kick off its second year at Fossil’s Texas-based HQ on June 4. A Dallas-based social enterprise, Marcus Graham’s mission is to identify, expose, mentor and train ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the media industry.
On June 5, Fossil will be hosting a Marcus Graham Project Facebook live event at Fossil HQ to introduce the aspiring 2018 internship participants. Be sure to tune in here at 10 a.m. CST.
By Keith Frome
Co-Founder & CEO of PeerForward (formerly College Summit)
We don’t often think of branding as a powerful tool for education reform but it is crucial in driving youth engagement in schools. Applying the power of branding to educational practice offers the field a new approach to driving achievement for all students.
Effective education helps a student define his or her identity. Great brands do the same. In 2015, College Summit undertook a transformational project with Fossil Group and Fossil Foundation that awakened us to the truth about branding: at its core, a brand is a choice about who you want to be. While we might often think of branding as being externally oriented, a powerful brand is, rather, an inward quest for authenticity.
Our partnership with Fossil Foundation has always been collaborative and rooted in the sharing of insights and expertise. When we sat down with members of the Fossil team, we had a frank conversation about the challenge at hand—our brand was not capturing our core mission: to empower students to guide more of their classmates to pursue higher education. This led us to ask ourselves, “How can we express this mission through brand identity?”
Our brand development process started with the program name. We asked, “What concept will galvanize students to lead this movement of college-goers?”
We discussed how educators, teachers, as well as peers already lead students and friends to become the people they are meant to be. We then explored how peers can continue to strengthen their influence to improve life for themselves and others—our core approach—ultimately landing on the program name “PeerForward” to express the idea at the heart of our efforts. We took an iterative approach with Fossil to create the brand identity, resulting in a strong logo with a bold use of color that conveys grit and leadership—qualities the PeerForward program develops in each student.
Assortment of Peer Forward branded logo productsPeerForward ad in Times Square New YorkPeer Forward team rings Nasdaq bellAssortment of Peer Forward branded logo productsPeerForward ad in Times Square New York
We now use this PeerForward identity to activate 11th and 12th grade “peer leaders” who conduct campaigns and coach friends (and often their parents) through the key steps high school students need to take to continue their education: creating a college list, following through on multiple applications, completing financial aid forms and making the connection between academic choices and career success.
Just as an educator might tell his or her students to review the material they’ve learned in class, the work that PeerForward and Fossil have undertaken asks the educational system and youth themselves to “re-view” the power of youth.
With craft beer flowing, food trucks cookin’ and hundreds of good friends gathered under one roof, Fossil Group’s annual Spring Fest event allowed employees at Fossil’s global headquarters to take a break and enjoy food trucks, frozen treats, inflatable games and live music.
Despite the rainy weather, our covered patio was the scene of intense Jenga game play and some serious second lunching on tacos, churros, mini cupcakes, soft serve ice cream and more. And speaking of carbs, we had plenty of the liquid variety with a selection of craft beer and wine pops. For competitive employees, the human foosball game and jousting made for lively entertainment.
One of the company’s many cultural events—Spring Fest always creates a great escape from the work week. See more photos from Fossil’s 2018 Spring Fest with #MeanwhileAtFossil.