Street Sense Works, part of our growing media center, is a new marketing professionals program that trains a small class of veteran writers from our newspaper to hone their skills and begin writing blogs commercially.

The project was founded by Adam Motiwala, a professional from the Tysons Corner technology firm Fifth Tribe.  Motiwala was inspired to bring his skills to Street Sense after getting to know his regular vendor and reading that vendor’s work in the newspaper.  Motiwala spoke on behalf of Street Sense at Google DC’s headquarter’s last August with a panel exploring the “intersection of technology, digital learning and employment.”

Providing and refining digital skills is necessary for anyone to enter today’s workforce. Learning how to leverage these skills independently and online goes a step further to remove other employment barriers individuals may face, such as the expectation of a certain appearance or a spotless past.

In February, Street Sense ran a successful successful Indiegogo campaign raise match funding to receive seed money from DC Social Innovation Project. Street Sense Works has completed several national contracts in class as a group, and continues to bridge the digital divide by providing skills for digital media jobs.

Falquero_Digital Hope

Thank You Generous Supporters:


Manifesto of the First Class: [Street Sense Works] is an empowering, inspiring and uplifting community of writers from poverty. We’re participating in a self-motivated skill-building program which provides a hand up–rather than a hand out–through intensive online marketing training.The group has already completed work for a California health clinic and used lessons from that work to inform the class’ structure. Work for a new client began January 29, 2015. Funding will provide for the completion and participation incentives as well as the computers and software infrastructure necessary to complete both training and client deliverables.

Motiwala leads a cadre of volunteers to train these veteran writers from Street Sense in a 16-week intensive course held within the “digital commons” of Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

  • Participants earn $25 per class session and a 10% completion bonus, with an additional completion bonus for good teamwork.
  • Each student will leave the class with two client projects in their portfolio, and the knowledge of how to maintain an online profile and market themselves for future blog writing contracts.
  • Each student’s skill level is accommodated, and additional lessons such as typing will be taught to solidify each person’s skill set.

Successful development of this project will provide a new, clear avenue for the writers that develop at Street Sense to pull themselves out of poverty.

“If this is gonna help me pay my rent and achieve my goals, let’s do it.” -Reginald Black

“I’m probably the slowest learner of us: age… past drug use… but I’m going to work for the good of the team. Very few millionaires made their money alone.” -Scott Lovell

“When you talk about making money you have to talk about commitment. This isn’t just for me, it’s for my kids.” -Ibn Hipps


Street Sense is grateful that DC Social Innovation Project is sponsoring the program’s development through their 2015 grant year.All vendors are welcome to observe the class, but only 5 students can be supported at one time. Interested students should sit in on a class and express interest to be involved in the next available session.

Street Sense meets every Thursday, 6:30pm.