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The DesMax 2024 Winners Embrace Girlhood, Your Inner Child, and Survivors

By BIC CCNY Posted on 01/29/2024 13:09

Nichimyo Rich BIC ‘25, Zaakirah Medan BIC ‘25, and Stella Ramirez BIC ‘24 share this year’s DesMax

Congratulations to this year's DezMax Scholarship winners, Nichimyo RichBIC ‘25, Zaakirah Medan BIC ‘25, and Stella Ramirez BIC ‘24. Each submission fulfilled the award's criteria which asks BICsters to develop a communications project that champions a cause with persuasion, passion, and charisma.

Winner: Nichimyo Rich BIC ‘25

For Nichi, girlhood was found within the complex corridors of the NYC shelter system. Growing up with a single Latina mother, she navigated the PATH multiple times. Her winning submission “Girlhood” aims to cultivate empathy and understanding among Gen Z listeners towards the challenges faced by single mothers in the shelter system. By spotlighting the intimate mother-daughter relationship and the symbolic act of doing hair, Girlhood humanizes their experience, showcasing resilience in the face of adversity. 

Teaming up with Spotify and Shea Moisture, Girlhood unfolds as a four-part audio series, tailored to resonate with the empathetic and socially conscious Gen Z audience. Centered around the journey of a single mother and her daughter navigating the dehumanizing PATH experience, the series delves deep into the exploration of "girlhood." Through interviews, unraveling the emotional intricacies of their story, weaving together a narrative that finds unity in the therapeutic ritual of doing hair – a constant source of magic amid their traumatic experiences. 

Winner: Zaakirah Medan BIC ‘25

Zaakirah’s winning submission #PACItUp addresses domestic violence, specifically focusing on intimate partner violence. It highlights the impact domestic violence has on millions of Americans each year and the public at large through perpetuating a misogynistic culture. #PACItUp aims to combat these truths and ultimately put an end to the domestic violence epidemic through the PAC app: an inconspicuous app and partnership with BetterHelp. The PAC app icon looks like a clock, but once inside users have access to pro bono mental health professionals who specialize in DV. The app locks so abusers can’t open it should they go through their partner’s device. 

#PACItUp is a campaign that raises awareness of the domestic violence epidemic in America while providing the victims the help they deserve. The PAC app also features DV survivors’ stories of how they found the courage to “PAC” it up, hopefully encouraging others to do the same.

Merit: Stella Ramirez BIC ‘24

As an adult, Stella makes sure to do things for her shy, quiet inner child. She’s an advocate for being open when it comes to mental health and feels that we all can benefit from working on healing ourselves. In her proposal for Native, the “Embrace Your Outer Child” campaign encourages grown-ups to act like kids again to heal their inner child because, at the end of the day, their products are going to be there to clean them up. 

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events occurring during childhood. These individuals grapple with enduring adverse effects on their health and mental well-being well into adulthood. Part of inner child therapy is healing emotional wounds, especially for those who have ACE. The other part is recovering the play muscle.

ABOUT the Desmond Maxwell (DezMax) Cause + Charisma Scholarship
As a student in BIC's inaugural Class of 2015, Desmond Maxwell was a successful media consultant, boastful undergraduate of City College, and proud member of the US Marine Corps, having served with distinction. He often said with great pride that he was “born and buttered in Harlem.” Dez was not just a charismatic man, but a generously supportive and inspiring classmate who championed causes that were close to his heart. Sadly, Dez died a few months before graduation. However, through the generosity of classmates, BIC Board Members, and friends (with a special shout out to GroupM), BIC was able to set up the DezMax Scholarship in his honor. Each year, BIC students compete for $5,000 in scholarship money with proposals that best demonstrate a communications-based solution to a societal problem. 

Interested in donating to the DezMax Scholarship fund? Ask how...

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