Donating professional skills to find a greater purpose.

"A star wants to see herself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around her become stars."

—Simon Sinek

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Founded by seven communities of Catholic sisters and several lay women in 1999, Marian Middle School is the only all-girls private middle school in the St. Louis community serving urban adolescent youth in a faith-based environment. As a NativityMiguel model school, Marian:

  • serves families from lower-income backgrounds,
  • provides holistic and faith-based education,
  • extends the school day and year,
  • partners with the family,
  • commits beyond graduation,
  • engages in a process of ongoing assessment, and
  • governs with strong leadership and effective practices.

 

Students receive a transformational education and enrichment programming during their middle school years and graduate support throughout high school and college so they can develop the critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and life skills needed to succeed. From fifth grade through career success, Marian Middle School truly is educating girls for life.

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In order to engage their community, and make a difference in the world, professionals need to change the way they think about philanthropy. They need to think beyond monetary donations. Professionals have other valuable assets to offer their community than taxes and donations—particularly the skills and knowledge.

Marian Middle School, welcomes adolescent girls of all backgrounds. They are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Marian fosters each student’s spiritual, academic, social, moral, emotional, and physical development from middle school through post-secondary education as a foundation for career success.

I was given the opportunity to joing Marian's marketing committee. It was there that I offered my skills in improvement and maintenance of the Marian website. Our main goal remains: to sustain and grow funding for the school—enabling the Marian misson of "Educating Girls for Life."

Professional Challenge:

Find a purpose in your community. Donate your skills. Acheive success.

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Product Status
Our marketing comittee decided to rebuild the entire site from the skeleton—er sitemap. I advised on both the information architecture and content strategy, while pursuing the functional goals of designing and building a content-managed, responsive, and accessible v2.0. I also helped shape a standard for Marian's visual brand—which is being extended across Marian's communication channels. Usability was extended beyond a WCAG AA accessibility score to include schema.org structured data, providing search engines access to build rich result snippets on screen, and in voice-assisted search.

"Hey Siri, tell me about Marian Middle School." 

Donations are important to Marian, so we secured the site with an SSL certificate to allow secure connections from the web server to a users' browsers. A content-managed website solution enables Marian's regular staff to share student success stories, promote fundraising events, and collect donations without having to rely on web programming ability.

Responsibilities
- Research and evaluation of existing service channels
- User experience strategy and service flow design
- User interface design accessibility standards development
- Content strategy and information architecture
- Full-stack custom WordPress theme and plugin development
- Hosting and web security management