Students Heading for Greatness Through The BrandLab


Marketing drives change, and we’re pretty proud we get to use our time and talents to help drive change in the right direction.

This summer, SRH was honored to be a part of TheBrandLab, a mentoring group that connects local BIPOC high school and college students with internships in the marketing industry.

We had a blast guiding the students through every phase of a campaign from ideation to strategy and media planning to creative execution.

Here’s the whole story from SRH Managing Director Jonathan Gundlach.

The BrandLab is a mentoring group on a mission to connect local BIPOC talent interested in the creative and marketing industry through high school- and college-level internships.

Our student partners, Astashia, Quavyon and Jacoby came to us from Pathways High and Wauwatosa East. With them, they brought a lot of energy, enthusiasm and ideas.

While participating companies typically engage with their interns on a specific project, at SRH, we wanted to do things differently: to let the students decide for themselves what to work on. We asked about problems they want to address in the world, in our region, in their communities. Once an issue was selected we determined goals and measures, and ultimately developed a campaign to meet them.

The brainstorming phase with these students blew me away. Their thoughtfulness and insights were light years ahead of mine in high school. The effort they decided to focus on is one that’s very needed: helping students and teachers identify and address mental health issues in the classroom.

By the end of our 12 short weeks together, we developed the Heading4ChangeMKE campaign to raise $2,500 for the local chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness. Their Ending the Silence program brings mental health education into the classroom, including a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery.

Since we didn’t have enough time to get this inspiring campaign off the ground during the internship, we’re continuing to work together with the students and run it this fall. We cannot wait to see it come to life!

It was refreshing and inspiring to work with young people who want to use their skills to have a direct impact on the world through advertising, something we at SRH are also passionate about. The creative industry’s future is bright with people like Quay, Stashia and Jacoby in it!

And what did the students have to say about their experience?

“During my time being a part of SRH and The BrandLab, I’ve learned many things that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life. I’ve been in an active environment and pushed to better my abilities and done things I’d never thought I’d do so early, like designing a billboard, creating designs for a website, making professional calls and so on. Meeting and working alongside professionals has been the best experience.” — Jacoby

“Working with [The] BrandLab and SRH has been such an amazing time. I learned so many different skills, such as how to correctly and professionally communicate with others, what’s the best way to market to certain audiences in certain places and that every idea could be useful.” — Astashia

“My time here with [The] BrandLab and SRH has been nothing but incredible. The things I have learned here is something that I thought I would never learn like the animation process, how an ad is produced and the thoughts behind it plus everything else. This has been an incredible experience.” — Quavyon

It was truly gratifying to work with and mentor these bright, ambitious and thoughtful young people, as well as guide them toward focusing their efforts into a specific, achievable campaign. We look forward to working with more The BrandLab interns in the years to come!

P.S. Are you passionate about giving students mental health resources in their school too? Consider making a small donation to the campaign at

Peace y'all,