Liberty Ford donates van, Boys & Girls Club member applies finishing touches

There’s a reason why the 15-passenger van Liberty Ford is donating to Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland will have a distinctly youthful look: Its custom paint job was designed by a 13-year-old Club member.

Kamden Pearson, a Broadway Club member who attends Cleveland’s Mound STEM School, won a competition among students in BGCC’s graphic design program for the best-looking van “wrap.” The finished product will be unveiled at a 4 p.m. April 18 ceremony at Liberty Ford.

The dealership is at 5500 Warrensville Center Road, Maple Heights.

“It’s going to be amazing and beautiful – I’m really excited,” Kam said.

This is the fourth van donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland by Liberty Ford, according to BGCC President Ron Soeder. The vans 20160330_135841are vital to the organization’s programming, he said, because so many arts, sports, music and community activities require kids to be transported either between Clubs or to other sites.  In addition, the vans enable kids to have new experiences, such as visiting colleges, taking field trips to museums or attending sporting events.

“This transportation really opens up new worlds for our kids, and Liberty Ford understands that,” Soeder said, adding that Dustin Peugeot, general manager of Liberty Ford and a BGCC board member, has been instrumental in helping the organization create a fleet of vans to transport members.

Under the guidance of instructor Jamal Collins, BGCC has developed a thriving graphic design program. Kids in the program were asked to not only design the “wrap” for the new van but to make formal presentations to BGCC staff members so they would gain experience making a pitch to a client.

Kam said he wanted the design to be “kid-friendly but also showing movement.” The most challenging aspects, he said, were integrating the design with the layout of the van, incorporating people into finished product and including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland logo.

“I’m really anxious to see my design on the van as it is going around the city,” Kam said. “I want to start a (graphic design) business, and this is going to really help get my business off the ground.”

Collins said he and Kam share a love of creating things.

“The first day I met Kamden and introduced him to graphic design and Adobe Photoshop, he never looked back,” Collins said. “He is so dedicated at such a young age. He is truly a graphic designer because he understands that to be good at something you have to put in the hours.  That’s what he does.”