Sandbox High
2023 Yearbook

Initiatives by Alexandra Blum, People Ops Manager

Redefining creative careers
for LA teens

Hook's Sandbox mentorship program was designed to make creative careers more accessible for diverse voices and underrepresented talent. One of the arms of that program, Sandbox High, focuses on high school students who are yet to decide on a career path.

Through our partnership with Hamilton High School, we’ve been able to expose students to real-world creative work experiences. This year, we were particularly proud to wrap up our third year of the program with the graduating seniors, who are the first cohort to complete the full Sandbox High experience.

We first met the students as sophomores during their ‘Introduction to Graphic Design’ class, and again as seniors during their ‘Capstone Ad Design’ class. One of our main goals through the program is to illustrate the numerous pathways to design careers. We were happy to learn that, in the graduating class of 2023, four of our students have already declared their college major or minor in design!

L to R: Sandbox mentees Wendy, Rubi, & Jasmine, Class of 2023

Dylan, Class of 2023

Cesar, Class of 2023

During the Fall 2022 semester, folks from each department at Hook—production, creative, design, motion, and engineering—gave career path presentations where they shared their personal creative journeys and details on career possibilities. In the Spring, nine dedicated Hook mentors spent the semester helping the students with hands-on design projects—designing stickers for the Intro class, and creating band posters for the Capstone class. The Hook mentors developed a curriculum to guide the students through the creative process, from research and brainstorming to sketching, layout, typography, illustration, color, revisions and print prep.

Jacqueline & Jorge, Class of 2025

Ashley, Class of 2023

Mentorship Experience

Besides watching the students grow and thrive, the next best part was playing in the Sandbox with other Hook folks! To date, over 37 employees have participated in Sandbox, and it was encouraging to see new relationships form and new skills develop through mentoring.

It was really cool to see the kids who were very quiet at the first part of the semester become really excited and get that confidence and bravery of talking about their art. That was my favorite part — when I would walk away from class and be like 'Wow it's so cool to see them like what they're doing! Look at them go!'"

Madelyn MichaelProducer

Hook x Hamilton High staff

While the mentorship program was primarily virtual, some of our Los Angeles team gained hands-on experience with the students by attending field trips to the Academy Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, supervising a ropes course, and stopping by the high school to host a photoshoot workshop with the senior class. 

The in-person touchpoints made the program even more dynamic and allowed our mentors to watch the mentees grow in their skills and overall confidence as emerging creatives.