Catalyst Award Recognizes Students’ Use of Design Thinking

Each year, we present the HFLI Catalyst Award to a graduating senior from Henry Ford Academies in both San Antonio and Detroit.

This award recognizes their use of emerging Design Thinking skills and mindsets to respond to a significant challenge in their community.


Meet the 2019 HFLI Catalyst Award winners:


Image of 2019 HFLI Catalyst Award WinnersKatie Z. – Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art + Design

Katie (top) saw few opportunities for young aspiring musicians to gain the tools and resources they need to succeed in music careers. She worked with her adult internship supervisor at San Antonio Sound Garden (SASG) and others to ideate, gather feedback on and develop an actionable plan. The result? Classroom Sessions, developed and activated in partnership with SASG. The immersive program enables kids explore their passion for and learn about today’s music industry.


Stephanie S. – Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies

Stephanie (bottom) used her growing Design Thinking expertise to approach issues associated with amplifying the voices of Detroit’s LGBTQ+ youth, and develop strategies for minority students to improve their standardized test scores. Her Senior Defense project focused on ways to prevent mortgage debt through better early education.


These graduating seniors received a framed Michigan-made Motawi tile and a gift card to support their next social impact project.

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