Workforce Inclusion Award Winner

Barkley Creative Accelerator Program

The Barkley Creative Accelerator is a pilot creative advertising program, launched in September of 2021. It was designed to eliminate historical barriers to entry for young BIPOC creative talent in the ad industry.

The BCA replaces the traditional and costly path of a 2-yr. post-graduate portfolio school, with a 1-yr. paid position that will provide them with the same skills and more. So, instead of racking up student debt, BCA participants earn while they learn.  

Participants in the BCA program are immediately immersed in an agency atmosphere and learn through coursework as well as the creation of real work for real clients. They have teachers and mentors, direct access to Creative Directors, and weekly check-ins with ECD- and GCD-level program directors. Importantly, they earn a competitive salary and full benefits.

The inaugural BCA class, who will “graduate” in Sept. of ‘22, is composed of four Gen Z creatives who identify as BIPOC: Geli Hornewer / Copywriter, Chase Chancy / Videographer, Aaron Denson / Designer, and Kim Chungong / Copywriter. As the first ever participants in the pilot program, they took creative control of their own identity, and dubbed themselves The Cadetz. 

As the first-ever class of the Barkley Creative Accelerator, The Cadetz have exceeded all expectations, including their own. They have successfully contributed to real world assignments much sooner than anticipated, working on brands such as Dairy Queen, Motel 6, IHOP, Kinetic Wireless, and pro bono work for Charlotte Street Foundation. They supplemented this external impact with internal innovation by creating extensive self-promo content for the BCA. They also wrote, directed, narrated and edited the case study video for our MOSAIC award submission.

Barkley is renewing the program for another year, currently accepting four new students for the class of ‘23.



Mosaic Award 2022 Winners