Hi Jes– I really enjoyed reading your ideas about Seed and think this could be a great opportunity for students to explore their passions and enhance practical skills. One aspect that I love about Seed is that it recognizes that many small and medium size businesses are seeking creative solutions that they, themselves do not have the resources (time or money) to address. And on the other hand, students are looking for ways to develop their skills in areas they may not have any prior experience in. That can be intimidating! Have you thought about using the website as not only a portfolio for students, but a marketplace where businesses can join, interact with students and post potential projects or questions? As OpenIDEO mentioned, Taskrabbit is a good example of a website that connects job seekers with job doers. In your case, Seed could be framed as a youth micro-consultant network. By creating a network, much like a university or club does for their members, students may be able to build more meaningful, professional relationships that lead to a full-time job.
I'm also interested in learning more about the role of the student mentors. How can we empower mentors to carry on the "Seed legacy" by teaching other students the skills they've mastered, so that the less-skilled students can, in turn, continue to learn and master? I think they are a key part of the Seed model!
I look forward to checking back on your progress! Inspiring work, Jes.