Connect 4

Networking for equality in design.

  • Doubled amount of mentees and mentors from 2019 to 2020
  • 15+ lunch talks with leading designers
  • Received $25k grant from Eddie Opara (Pentagram) in second year
  • 8 students received design positions at leading agencies in NYC

Studio founder, Jen Roos, along with Caitlin Dover (Guggenheim Museum, Morgan Stanley) and Jen Wang (Penguin Random House), were together awarded a prestigious AIGA NY Inclusion Grant for their innovative mentoring project “Connect 4: Networking for Equality in Design.” The team at 8PTS has designed the visual branding in support of this growing initiative.

Connect 4 is a “networking scholarship” that plants concrete seeds for a more diverse and inclusive design industry. The program engages students of color at schools outside of the academic elite of New York and helps build a deep leadership-based network at the start of marginalized studentsʼ careers.

The goal of Connect 4 is to support emerging design careers and help establish a strong, elite design network for students of color.

Jen Roos, Founder & Creative Director, 8PTS

The goal of Connect 4 is to support emerging design careers and help establish a strong, elite design network for design students of color. Major design leaders of color have participated as mentors and supporters including Eddie Opara of Pentagram, Alice Chung of Omnivore, Bobby Martin of Original Champions of Design and Husani Oakley of Deutsch. Mercy College design students of color receive intensive design mentoring for over a year. Mercy College is the largest private, nonprofit, official minority-serving college in New York. Connect 4 continues to grow and now includes a network of over 70 students and design leaders with students starting careers at companies including Pentagram, Penguin Random House, and Hearst Magazines.

Jen Roos and the 8PTS team have been thrilled to collaborate with design leaders in NYC to help build concrete, meaningful inclusion in the field of design – a lifelong passion for Jen and an important part of 8 Point Studioʼs “impact” mission.

I’ve been looking for ways to expand my understanding of design beyond communications. It’s been a conversation that I’ve been having with my mentor and contemplating for my career.

Amal Baidas, Former Mentee, Connect 4