Jamal is a designer from Carol Stream. He initially got into graphic design through the College of DuPage’s applied arts program which helped him understand the fundamentals of design. Since then, he has developed his unique style and approach to design grounded in his values and goals as a student at the University of Illinois’ Art & Design school. He works towards building a well-designed society through careful consideration of practicality, usability, and longevity within his design.

Yet, while design felt like the right career path for him, his journey into the field was difficult, due to the lack of knowledge and resources provided in his younger years. Knowing other students encounter similar barriers to harness their own creativity, Jamal designed The Right Minds Program which aims at educating youth about the countless opportunities available for them where they can focus on their creative strengths. The program seeks to properly introduce students to design and other creative practices, and inform them about how they can be applied in real-world scenarios.

According to research the left and right sides of the brain work together to help perform similar motor movement functions. However, they also work differently to achieve different tasks. The left side of the brain focuses on cognitive functions like analytical thinking, logic, and statistics while the right side focuses on holistic thinking and intuition. Traditional education focuses heavily on cognitive thinking skills of the left brain through standardized testing that targets logical thinking. Because of this, signals to the right brain become weaker. Left brain signals are much stronger within students through the constant exercise of standardized teaching. The goal of this project is to nurture youth interested in the arts; and to strengthen the right side of the brain to empower them to explore creative careers. The project includes a website, printed poster and an interactive zine to help exercise the right side of the brain through creative activities that act as visual puzzles that can strengthen creative thinking skills.