Made in Brownsville is a resident-led nonprofit working to empower disconnected and secondary school youth to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) professions in East Brooklyn. The organization exposes youth to design and technology through paid apprenticeships and school-based programming. Bridging the gap between learning and doing, students collaborate with creative mentors to tackle challenging regional problems with innovative solutions. As a pipeline to employment, Made in Brownsville works to eliminate the disconnected youth population.
Quardean Lewis-Allen founded Made in Brownsville to create a pipeline of talent from his native community of Brownsville, Brooklyn, to careers in design and tech, tackling the issue of minority underrepresentation and youth unemployment. He is a 2016 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow and Quardean was the inaugural recipient of the Community Solutions Greg Jackson Community Fellowship. Previously, Quardean worked abroad for the Chife Foundation developing affordable housing typologies for a new, eco-sustainable town in Nigeria and for the international design firm Perkins Eastman. He chaired the Social Change and Activism group at Harvard for two years, introducing high school youth to design through its ProjectLink program. Quardean lectured on social justice in design at Harvard and Queens College. He was a 2013 Next City Vanguard, which recognizes 40 under-40 creative urban leaders. Made in Brownsville received the 2016 Good Maker Award, and is a recipient of the Neighborhood Challenge Innovation Grant from the City of New York. It has been featured by Fast Company, JPMorgan Chase, and Al Jazeera. Quardean studied architecture at SUNY Buffalo and holds a master of architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.