Founded in 2015 by the Clark-Fox Family Foundation, Blueprint4Summer quickly began expanding to do more than just summer camps. Learn about our history, our family of platforms, and what brought us to where we are today.
In 2015, Maxine Clark and Allie Cicotte of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation were searching for ways to help St. Louis area families easily find and learn about local summer camps and other fun activities to prevent summer learning loss. They found that there were plenty of camps and programs out there, but finding, organizing, and comparing information was a significant challenge. Families were spending hours searching online and reading pamphlets to find the perfect camp for their child. This was valuable time taken away from other activities that could not be replaced. Maxine and Allie knew there had to be a better way for families to find local summer camps and learning opportunities. So, they set out to build it.
That same year, the Foundation created Blueprint4Summer to simplify the summer camp search process and provide tools to help families prepare for success. They formed a team to gather and manage local summer program information, taking on the research and discovery process families previously had to do for themselves. They built the Blueprint4 platform to house and organize information about all the best summer learning opportunities. The easy-to-use mobile tool features a powerful search function, browsable listings, helpful links, and planning tools to help families prepare for summer success. It’s free-for-all and not-for-profit, supported by investors who care deeply about youth and education access.
Blueprint4Summer debuted in 2015 to rave reviews from local families and program providers, and has become the go-to destination for summer camp information in the years since.
With local kids all set for summer success with access to thrilling programs to help them through school, the Blueprint team began exploring ways to help continue supporting the learning journey beyond seasonal summer camps. They observed that the camps and programs mainly catered to the elementary and middle grades, but there was a niche gap for older students who wanted to engage in the college process in order to kick off the next step in their educational journey. There were programs that existed for this group, but they were still very difficult to find using those old familiar manual search avenues. As a solution, the team created Blueprint4 College Prep in 2017 to aid students by giving them a platform to easily find programs across the nation.
Like Blueprint4Summer, Blueprint4 College Prep is an easy to use, free mobile tool that features program search, explorable listings, useful links, and planning tools. Students can quickly and easily find pre-college and college access summer programs.
Blueprint4Careers was added to the Blueprint platform family in 2019 through a partnership with the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and Ready by 21 St. Louis. This was an organic next-step for us to help students further navigate their future and reach their end goal - a fulfilling career. By focusing on workforce development and career training programs, Blueprint4Careers is designed to help college-aged students and young adults find resources to launch successful, high-demand skilled careers. The Blueprint4Careers technology platform features the same search, discovery, and planning features that have proven successful in our summer camp and college prep platforms.
The newest addition to the Blueprint4 family of platforms is Blueprint4STEM. Powered by STEMSTL, Blueprint4STEM uses our tried-and-true app platform to help students and families discover out-of-school STEM programs and extracurricular activities that allow students to explore, engage, and immerse in STEM learning experiences outside the classroom.