Leo Burnett Awards Chicago State Seniors with $25,000 in Scholarship Funds

Publicis Groupe agencies celebrate the fourth annual Chicago State University Pencil Project program, powering non-traditional pathways for the next generation of creative talent.

Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide recently hosted its annual The Pencil Project Bootcamp with Chicago State University, Illinois’ only predominantly black college, where graduating students presented advertising campaigns addressing mental health among the city’s youth. This event marked a significant milestone for many students as it was their first venture into advertising.

The inclusive 10-week advertising bootcamp brought together students from various backgrounds, fostering a diverse and collaborative learning environment where they learned about strategy development and bringing ideas to life through creative executions such as OOH, social and experiential marketing.

As part of this program, eight graduates were awarded a collective $25,000 dollars of scholarships to advance their education and careers. Additionally, five graduates were offered creative internships within Leo Burnett, providing them with valuable real-world experience.

The Pencil Project delivers a meaningful impact on students’ lives and career paths by creating non-traditional pathways into the creative industry, fueling a diverse talent pipeline of new creative talent while reinforcing the agency’s commitment to DE&I.

Since the Pencil Projects Trust Fund’s inception, the agency has funded over $50,000 dollars of scholarships for aspiring creative talent. Over the past 25+ years, Leo Burnett has forged partnerships with select schools to open up creative opportunities, resulting in the employment of more than 50 new employees and welcoming numerous interns directly from this program —creating real opportunity for new creative talent to thrive.

From its inception, the humble and unassuming big black pencil has been a symbol for Leo Burnett’s pursuit of bold, daring thought, and together with Arc Worldwide, Leo Burnett has evolved its use to new creative territories. Learn how the Pencil Project has evolved into a new future here.

To donate, visit The Pencil Project Trust Fund.