Maurice Woods / WHAT’S GOOD(?)

The kid found peace of mind when he was learning, investigating and creating. He felt especially at peace when he drew, learned about how things worked, or played basketball. His penchant for creativity reached a zenith when he took apart his father’s expensive watch to learn how the inside worked. Of course, he also planned to put it back together, but as you can probably imagine, his father kind of stopped the whole operation before that happened…  For the entire read click

The kid was Maurice Woods, born 1971 in Richmond, California. He went on to channel his insatiable curiosity into earning Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts Degrees from the University of Washington in Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design.) At UW he was mentored by tough (albeit helpful and dedicated) professors like Christopher Ozubko and Doug Wadden. At first, the school gave him a generous basketball scholarship; the 6’ 10” frame he grew into plus his iron work ethic gained him valuable career experience, playing professionally for 7 years after undergrad, everywhere from France to Japan. However, while still in school, he came to a crossroads when he was forced to choose a major and contemplate the lightning-strike odds of getting in to the NBA. His mother’s sound advice fortunately pointed him towards the graphic design major, which allowed the rest of his life to unfold like a work of art.

Woods would find himself in high demand upon, and even before, graduation. Design Director at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners from 2005-2007, he would design for Nike, Greyhound, and Pentagram Designs, who produced graphics and signage for the New York Times Headquarters, hired him as Senior Graphic Designer in 2007, where he designed the logo for Saint Mary’s College in California. Woods became Senior Design Director of Yahoo! in 2013 and currently serves a similar senior position at MileIQ in San Francisco. However, throughout all these incredible jobs, Woods was also burning the midnight oil on something entirely different: Giving back.

In 2004, Woods started to build a nonprofit from the ground up. It’s called Inneract Project, and it brings graphic design education directly to under-served communities. Inneract Project’s courses for middle and high schoolers, always free of charge, open a career door in graphic design to students and families who are cornered by so many closed doors due to the albatrosses of poverty and systemic racism. Just like his college professors pushed him to unlock his potential, at the end of every Inneract Project class, the students are responsible for turning in a final product. In 2016, Woods was recognized by AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) San Francisco as a fellow, in addition to serving on the board of advisors for the chapter’s 2007 Design Journeys, and was the recipient of a Jefferson Award for Public Service.

Helping children and communities succeed is a puzzle much larger than his father’s watch, but Woods has already pieced many of its pieces together. The next big piece may include making Inneract Project’s programs modular so they can be offered in many different cities outside of the Bay Area. True leaders move forward by giving back.

To support Woods and the Inneract Project, click here.

About gmoney77

My name is Gerald Watson and I do lifestyle marketing for various companies/agencies. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the people I work with, the work I do as well as the shit I see on the regular.

Posted on May 30, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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