RWU Students Design Graphics and Website for R.I.’s First Teen Recovery Center

Students partnered with The Providence Center to develop graphics and a fully functioning website for the organization’s new teen center

Juan Siliezar
Logo of teen center
A large logo and graphic designed by RWU students welcome visitors to the state’s first teen recovery center. Courtesy of The Providence Center.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. ­­– When one of the state’s leading mental health and addiction treatment providers needed help designing creative and digital identities for Rhode Island’s first teen recovery center, it turned to Roger Williams University.

As a Community Partnerships Center project, students from two RWU courses worked with The Providence Center to develop a brand identity and website for its new youth center: The Jim Gillen Teen Center, Anchor Recovery.

The center is the state’s first recovery center designed specifically for teens struggling with addiction and is part of the Anchor Recovery Community Centers. It will provide a range of services from recovery coaching to education and support for teens and their families.

Over the spring semester, students from Adjunct Professor Dina Vincent’s citizen designer graphic design course and students from Professor Al Cutting’s web development center course worked closely with Holly Fitting, vice president of residential and recovery services at The Providence Center, to come up with a suite of creative designs for the center and build a fully functioning website for its launch.

The RWU students strategized and developed the concepts from start to finish with The Providence Center.

“It was an unbelievable amount of work they did,” said Fitting, who connected with the CPC after a positive experience having volunteers help clean the space as part of RWU’s Feinstein Community Connections Day. “We got such a wonderful product from [this project.]”

The creative suite the graphic design class delivered included a logo and designs for signs, murals, letterheads and business cards. Staff from the youth center recently installed the murals and graphics on doors, windows and walls.

Staff putting in a mural
Staff at the Jim Gillen Teen Center, Anchor Recovery installing a mural designed by RWU students. Courtesy of The Providence Center.

The website the web development students delivered is focused on the audience and the resources they are looking for. Students in the class were broken into small teams and competed with one another for which design the Providence Center would choose. The winning team ultimately incorporated many of the best design elements from the other teams in the website.

“It was a competition between teams, but also at the end very collaborative,” said Rachel Bimonte ’18, a journalism major and team leader of the team whose design was chosen by The Providence Center.

Screen shot from Teen Recovery Center site
A screen shot of the Jim Gillen Teen Center, Anchor Recovery website designed by RWU students. Used with permission of The Providence Center.

Ultimately, the experience strengthened the teamwork skills of students from both classes and gave them hands-on experience working with a real client. Students also had to do a fair amount of research and learning about addiction and recovery to be able to connect with their audience, an important skill for them to learn early in their careers.

“The things we went through are things that real [professionals] go through with their clients,” Bimonte said.

A launch event was held June 21, at the Jim Gillen Teen Center, Anchor Recovery, at 1280 North Main St., Providence. The design suite and website that students created are in full use.

At RWU, we develop Civic Scholars who believe in community-engaged work. That’s why we commit to providing every student an opportunity that empowers them to put their knowledge and skills to the test solving real-world problems and creating meaningful change with community partners. Learn more about the Civic Scholars program and how to help us reach our goal of every student participating in civic scholarship.