Pensole Design Academy Partners With Kenan Family Trust And Champs Sports

Pensole Design Academy Partners With Kenan Family Trust And Champs Sports

Pensole Design Academy, in partnership with Kenan Family Trust and Champs Sports, today announced the six-state launch of Pensole High School (PHS), a multidiscipline pre-college design program called Sneakerhead of State (S.O.S) for high school students.

“S.O.S has a double meaning—both standing for the program name, but also calling out the lack of design education for high school students nationwide. Pensole High School was created to inspire and raise awareness of design careers in the footwear industry,” Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards said. “Reaching high school youth is critical to empower students on their path toward becoming innovative problem-solvers while preparing them to create their own path for their future.”

Through its Sneakerhead of State workshops, online and in-person competitions, PHS will reach a wide range of high school students interested in exploring design as a career option. All PHS programs are open to rising 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students.

“Champs Sports is thrilled to be partnering with Pensole to introduce students to the design process at a younger age than ever before,” said Jason Brown, VP of marketing for Champs Sports. “We know our consumer is engrained in and a driving force behind athletic lifestyle. Showing young people how the products they love come to life, and how they can become involved in the design process is of the utmost importance to drive the future of our industry.”

Sneakerhead of State workshops will be held at Champs Sports stores in the hometowns of Pensole alumni, who will conduct the workshops with a goal of introducing participants and parents to the design process. Depending on the length of the workshop offered, participants will be given brief exercises covering a range (3-6) of studio disciplines offered at Pensole Academy, such as footwear design, color and material design, functional apparel and accessories design, brand design, shoemaking, and 3D design.

One student each will be crowned the Sneakerhead of State in Footwear Design, Color and Material Design, and Functional Apparel and Accessories Design in December. These students, along with the high school they attend, will receive cash prizes, gift cards from Champs Sports and a scholarship to attend Pensole, in Portland, OR.

Registration is open now at